Wednesday, 1 February, 2023

Sustainable use of maritime resources

Sustainable use of maritime resources

The world has embraced the idea of a blue economy and is making ardent efforts to harness its potential because three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by seas and oceans. Bangladesh is also endowed with a large maritime area which can serve as an engine for economic expansion as well as a major source of food. If we can ensure sustainable use of marine resources, it will go a long way in harnessing economic growth and improving livelihoods by creating jobs. But before Bangladesh can tap into the immense potential of the blue economy, we have to ensure maritime security and enhance its capacity significantly.

In this regard we welcome Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s commitment to ensure a safe and secure environment at the sea to safeguard maritime resources and marine trade for economic prosperity. She said the government has taken robust measures to enhance the capability of Bangladesh navy by turning it into a modern force with quality development programmes. She made this comment while inaugurating the International Fleet Review-2022 being held at Inani in Cox's Bazar organised by Bangladesh Navy with the title Friendship beyond the Horizon, with the participation of 28 countries.

A strong and well-equipped marine force is imperative to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems by combating local and transnational adversaries. It will also play a significant role in effectively regulating and harvesting marine resources and tackling illegal overfishing. Besides, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices should also be mitigated.

The geographical location and climate condition of Bangladesh have made her coastal areas one of the highly productive areas of the world. By ensuring maritime security and developing a blue economy, it will be able to uplift and develop the coastal communities, which will generously contribute to the national economy. The efficient usage of blue economy through proper utilisation and management of our marine and coastal resources can help a lot in nation building. But we must come out of growth-at-any-cost mindset and take care for our nature, sea and marine life while exploring and exploiting the marine assets.