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Marine resources exploration will help coastal community

February 11, 2019 00:00:00

This letter is in reference to a news item titled 'Govt set to take up pilot project for marine resources exploration' that was published in the Financial Express on February 10, 2019. The piece stated that the government is set to initiate a pilot project for exploration of marine resources in the Bay of Bengal. Under directives from the Prime Minister's Office, the project will provide financial assistance and logistic support to fishermen who regularly catch fishes in the Bay.

I believe that this is a great initiative. It should have been taken earlier. Many countries of the world including Japan, the Maldives, India, China, USA and others have vibrant marine resources sectors. Fishes, vegetables and other resources from the sea are consumed locally and also exported.

In Bangladesh, the fishermen catch fishes with crude equipment available to them. Often these fishes are not very big and fetch little money for them at the local markets. The government is right to think that local fishermen in the coastal areas catch only an insignificant portion of the fishes for lack of logistic supports.

If the project is implemented, nearly 1.0 million families that are fully dependent on the sector will benefit. The story has also mentioned that over 0.7 million families are directly involved with catching fishes using only around 75,000 wooden boats and around 5,000 trawlers at present.

I think the government should also consider the prospects of seaweeds like spirulina. These are consumed as high-protein salad in many countries of the world. If these can be extracted from the sea, processed and exported to those countries, then Bangladesh will have another source of foreign currency.

Akibul Javed,

Indira Road, Dhaka

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