Our oceans have plentiful resources including seaweed that can be consumed locally and at the same time exported to various countries. It is said to be full of minerals and other beneficial components. People in the south-eastern countries consume large quantities of seaweed on a daily basis. Experts say it has some medicinal qualities as well.
This special variety of bounty of nature lies in abundance in our waters but we do not have adequate survey to learn and identify and harness the full potential to strengthen our economy. Seaweed can be collected without much hassle and processed through adopting modern technique. The reserve can serve us for generations.
It needs no emphasizing that Safe and environmentally sustainable extraction of sea resources will make a remarkable contribution to the well-being of our future generation and sustainable economic growth. Also successful extraction of ocean resources like seaweed can help the country eradicate poverty, ensure food security and generate sustainable as well as inclusive employments. In this regard, Bangladesh needs to learn modern methods of conservation and preserve coastal eco-system at the same time.
Blue economy goes beyond seaweed. The scope of blue economy covers an array of things like fishing, oil and gas, minerals, maritime trade and shipping etc. Reportedly, about 5 years ago, Blue Economic Cell decided to conduct multi-client seismic surveys to verify the probability of acquisition of oil and gas in the larger area of the Bay of Bengal, unfortunately yet its progress has been insignificant. In this regard, an immediate need for developing an integrated coastal management system in order to explore new offshore gas reserves emerges.
We have to make a stock of what we have and in order to do that we need to learn and identify the amount of resources available in the sea. In this regard, intervention of new technology and support of adequate and quality research are pertinent. Also for harnessing the full potential of Blue Economy, involvement of the private sector has become more of a necessity. It is envisaged that private sector can play a crucial role in improving country’s maritime research and surveys. We hope the government and departments concerned will look forward to involving private sector in government’s search for sea resources, coastal development and management plan.