Government Policy

Bangladesh set to launch survey on marine aquaculture

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinsa is expected to commission a state of art survey vessel tomorrow as Bangladesh is set to launch next month an extensive study on marine aquaculture in extended territorial waters.

"We have procured the ultra modern research vessel, RV Meen Sandhani, from Malaysia at a cost of Taka 65.50 crore . . . we await its commissioning tomorrow at the Chittagong Port," National Project Director of Bangladesh Marine Fisheries Anwarul islam told BSS.

He added that the vessel was expected to launch an extensive campaign to explore marine aquaculture in extended territorial waters after the settlement of the country's maritime boundary with neighbouring India and Myanmar in international forums.

Rahman said UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Malaysian government would provide technical support to carry out the survey in Bay of Bengal to take stock of particularly the marine fisheries.

"The eventual aim of the survey is to develop a short and long term plan for its balanced extraction under a pragmatic policy," he said.

The vessel arrived on June 9 this year while the premier is scheduled to inaugurate it through a video conference from her official residence Gano Bhaban in the capital.

According to officials descriptions Meem Sandhani is 37.8 metere in length, 9.2 metre in width and have a 3.3 metre draft and accommodation facilities for 28 researchers and crew onboard.

Deputy national project director Atiur Rahman said vessel is equipped with sophisticated gears to gather different underwater biological information including stock of various species of marine fishes, fishes and marine life inhabiting at upper and bottom level of the sea.

He said the vessel was capable of detecting and identifying any living creatures up 2,000 metre depth in the sea in 360 angles.

"The ship would also discover new fishing grounds and help plan their sustainable management . . . it is crucial as our current knowledge suggests that the Bay of Bengal has only four fishing grounds," Rahman said.

Bangladesh first carried out an extensive survey on marine aquaculture in 1973 in line with Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's directives while the fisheries department subsequently conducted some partial studies only in late 1970s and early 1080s.

But the second such extensive survey is being launched as the country managed to establish its rights in 118,813 square kilometres of the territorial waters and 200 nautical miles of an exclusive economic zone in the international court.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)