Blue-economy has opened up new horizons for the country’s economy to take advantage of the vast body of water at sea and the vast resources at its bottom. Blue-economy is a sea-based economy. An economic revolution is at its bottom to fulfill the dream of development by utilizing the vast resources of the sea and the vast resources. After conquering the vast sea, Bangladesh is moving forward at a relentless pace on the roadmap of implementing that revolution. The country is dreaming of a new maritime economy.
In 1994, Professor Gunter Pauli came up with the idea of a sustainable and environmentally friendly economy based on marine resources. Three-quarters of the world’s vast water bodies use diverse resources to outline future economies. Blue-economy will play an important role in boosting the world economy. Because, geographically our country is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.
If these resources can be utilized, the unemployment of the country will be eliminated and the wheel of the economy will turn. Exploiting this potential requires skilled manpower, state-of-the-art technology and equipment, research and surveys on deep-shallow marine life and mineral resources, government sponsorship of higher education institutions, assistance from foreign skilled companies and long-term planning.
At present, the contribution of marine resources to the economy of Bangladesh is only 9.6 billion US dollars or 6 percent. According to experts, Bangladesh can ensure maximum utilization of marine resources by turning Bangladesh’s maritime borders into a hub of economy through a well-thought-out plan. As a result, the contribution of marine resources to the economy of Bangladesh can be multiplied several times.
Eighty percent of the world’s trade is by sea. In the geopolitical context, the Asian superpower China is building the One Belt Road or Silk Road to increase trade by land. Similarly, China is keen to increase its connectivity with Europe through the Bay of Bengal by sea. India is not another superpower. As a result, the strategic importance of our region is increasing day by day. Bangladesh can take advantage of this opportunity. Our neighboring landlocked countries in this region are Nepal and Bhutan. The cost of transporting commercial goods is much lower by water than by air or land. So, if they want to use seaports, Bangladesh can provide port facilities.
Bangladesh owns 1 lakh 18 thousand 813 square kilometers of sea. And in the middle of this blue water there are various marine resources scattered. In addition to oil, gas, precious sand, uranium, monazite, zircon, snails, oysters, fish, octopuses, sharks, etc., there are various marine animals and minerals in the sea. The Bay of Bengal is a huge source of fishery resources. There are about 500 species of fish here. There are also 20 species of crabs, 36 species of shrimps, 300 species of snails and oysters. There are also expensive and delicious fish like tuna, which has a lot of international demand.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Bangladesh is the first of the four countries to achieve huge success in fisheries by 2022. Out of the total 43 lakh 34 thousand fish produced in the country in 2017-18, marine fish was 60 lakh metric tons; Although there is an opportunity to catch 6 million tons of fish. The fishing range is only 360 km within the 600 km sea level. But due to lack of skilled manpower and technology, the fishermen of this country can fish only up to 60 km. As a result, despite having a huge amount of fishery resources, it is not going to be utilized. The concerned ministry of the government has to take appropriate steps to utilize a huge number of resources.
Tourism is a major source of income. We have St. Martin, a coral island of natural beauty, the longest beach of 120 km full of stunning beauty, which is the largest beach in the world. Besides, there are many places of interest in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, which are rich in archeological beauty. By employing this industry through planned measures, it is possible to create a huge amount of employment as well as a lot of income. However, in this case, the tourist centers have to be made more attractive. Tourist accommodation should be well developed. The security of tourist centers needs to be strengthened. Only then will the number of tourists go down, the economy will get multidimensionality, unemployment will decrease, employment will increase.
Currently, the billion-dollar industry around the world is the shipbuilding industry. With this opportunity, it is possible to increase the government investment and enrich the domestic fleet, adding a large amount of revenue to the revenue. Delta Plan-2100 or Delta Plan-2100 has been given priority to blue water resources, which will give importance to marine resource management.
To implement this management, skilled manpower has to be developed, modern technology and equipment have to be used, seaports have to be constructed in a planned manner and the help of neighboring countries has to be taken; Although India-Bangladesh bilateral agreement has already been signed, the government needs to be proactive in implementing the agreement. This situation needs to be improved; every step has to be taken in a planned manner. As a result, revenue will increase and the economy will turn around. And in this way, it is possible to achieve SDG target and Vision-2041 by 2030.
“A pollution-free and rich sea is essential to our daily lives,” said Bloom Bernikat. But overfishing, marine pollution and global climate change are putting our oceans at risk. He emphasized the need for speedy resolution of these issues in order to ensure sustainable development as well as the growing development of the global economy. The US Ambassador commended Bangladesh for taking various effective measures to combat overfishing, marine pollution and global climate change.
Bangladesh, an emerging power in Asia, became a middle-income country in 2018. In its continuation, the dream of transforming Bangladesh into a developing country in 2024 and a developed country in 2041, the utilization of Blue-Economy will make the progress of implementation more dynamic. The dream of transformation that we see in a developed country, the utilization of blue-economy will make the progress of implementation more dynamic.
The writer is a student of dept. of Environmental Science and Engineering at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh, Bangladesh