Due to Lack of Initiatives, Blue Economy remains Untapped

Bangladesh has achieved around 19,467 sq. km. disputed areas in the Bay of Bengal from India in 2014. This area opens up a huge opportunity of growth through Blue Economy. However, no initiative has been taken other than forming BLUE ECONOMY CELL (BEC) under the Energy and Mineral Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.

26 sectors have been identified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs twice in 2014 and 2017. There sectors include shipping, coastal shipping, seaports, passenger ferry services, inland waterway transports, shipbuilding, ship recycling industries, fishery, aquaculture, coastal aquaculture and mariculture, marine acquaintance products, marine biotechnology, oil and gas, sea salt production, ocean renewable energy, tidal energy, blue energy (osmasis) and biomass, aggregate mining (sand, graveetc), marine mineral mining, coastal tourism, recreational water sports, yachting and marines, cruise tourism, coastal protection/artificial islands/greening coastal belts, human resource development, marine surveillance and marine special planning.

Moreover, 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zone and territory rights in the Bay of Bengal was achieved by Bangladesh throughout a settlement with Myanmar. However, no decision was taken to utilize the potential of these rights.

Headed by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the government formed a committee with 25 high powered members. Recently, a desktop study was scheduled to be done on data collected from a survey to locate the existence of methane gas found in the low depths of 200-500 metres under the sea.

Elvis Gomes