Abu Zakir, 10 years old. He lived by the sea. His day would begin with red crabs on the seashore in the early morning sunlight. However, this boy said that crabs are not seen before. Abu Zakir misses the beauty of the crab.
Talking to Latifur, a local resident of the sea area, he said that earlier in the morning, red crabs were spread like a red carpet on the sea shore, but now they are no longer seen.
For this reason, null crabs are sometimes described as living fossils. The blood of this null crab is very important for testing whether any vaccine is safe.
In this regard, Khulna University's animal department professor Moslem Uddin said, these animals are disappearing due to the effect of global climate change. Moreover, environmental pollution is also responsible for this. He said that sea pollution is adversely affecting the food cycle of animals. Many animals are dying due to this.
Increasing ocean acidity for climate change
This professor, who recently researched crabs, said that there are 4 species of king crabs out of which 2 species exist in Bangladesh, but now this living fossil is disappearing. Also Maheshkhali, Kutubdia, Sonadia used to see a lot of turtles that are not so much anymore.
He also said that the number of corals in St. Martin is decreasing day by day. As the pH level in the ocean decreases, the acidity increases due to which calcium carbonate is broken down in the ocean. Corals are made of calcium carbonate and so the corals are decreasing due to the softening of the sea. Many animals in the sea gather their food from corals, so the food cycle of these animals is affected.
Anwarul Haque of Save Our Sea organization has been working on the issue of sea pollution for a long time. He talks about various issues of marine life diversity.
According to him, the loss of mangroves is affecting the diversity of marine life. Anwarul said, except for whales, almost all sea creatures come to the mangrove and give birth and return to the deep sea. And the loss of mangroves in coastal areas is affecting marine life. In addition, unplanned construction in the sea area, illegal fishing for prohibited nets, and pollution in the sea are also responsible for this. He also added that dolphins and sea birds are not seen in the sea like before.
Save Our Sea recently conducted a study on St. Martin's beach and found about 48 tons of plastic. Anwarul said that this is one of the causes of sea pollution.
SDG 14 is being ignored
SDG 14 is "Conservation and sustainable use of seas, oceans and marine resources for sustainable development".
However, constructions are being built on the sea shore, ocean bikes are running on the sea beach, and fishermen are not obeying any restrictions in the fishing area.
Also, although the SDG rule says about fishing in the middle of 30 meters of the sea. Fishermen caught fish between 10-15 meters.
Chan Mia is a local fisherman, he fishes by the sea to get a net. Talking to him, he said that because there is no mechanism boat to go to the middle sea, they are forced to fish like this for their livelihood.
Many fishermen catch fish in Behundi nets. Its use is prohibited throughout the year. Although this net has several local names. Among them, it is also known as Banda net, Pekua net, Bingi net, Gara net, and Bindi net.
And this type of net is causing more damage to the fish resources in the coastal area as well as in the entire southern region. Due to these nets, not only fish fry but also eggs are getting destroyed. Also, many sea creatures get trapped in these nets along with fish and die. Such as Shapla fish.
Elisabeth Fahrni Mansur, Senior Manager of the WCS Bangladesh Marine Conservation Program, she said“Climate change impacts our ocean in various ways. Ocean warming, sea level rise, and shifts in salinity and oxygen, for example, affect the abundance, diversity, and distribution of marine wildlife and fish. These changes also impact fisheries and the people that depend on them.
The deep submarine canyon Swatch-of-No-Ground is a climate refuge for many species in our part of the northern Bay of Bengal. The upwelling water is cool and enriched by the highly productive waters of the Sundarban mangrove forest. This area is therefore of particular importance in a changing marine environment, as proven by over 10 years of dedicated at-sea surveys by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Based on these research findings, the Government of Bangladesh has declared these waters as a marine protected area, and is currently developing a zonation and management plan to balance the protection of threatened marine wildlife and fishery needs.”
she said to stop overfishing to protect marine life. Stating the importance of balance in fishing, he also said that using nets in the sea in accordance with the law, and if other marine animals are caught in the nets than fish, they should be released back into the sea. Also, marine conservation areas should be increased.
The construction in the seashore area should be stopped
BAPA joint general secretary and architect Iqbal Habib said that many 5-star hotels are being built on the sea shore, which disturbs the life cycle of sea animals. This will adversely affect the tourism industry. In addition, the police, coast guard, and navy have also built luxurious residences in St. Martin, saying that those in charge are dereliction of duty. And so if the government does not take initiative now to protect the vast resources of the sea. Economically we will also face losses.
Industrial chemical waste pollution is increasing in the sea
Environmentalists demand the closure of industrial factories on the coast outside of rules and regulations. In this regard, environmental activist Sharif Jamil said that the government should take measures to stop sea pollution. Along with this, investments should also be made in the training of fishermen to protect marine life. He also said that many important sea animals are being trafficked in many ways, so there is a need to increase sea monitoring.
The writer is a freelance journalist