Bangladesh is procuring an ocean-going vessel to intensify maritime research as part of the government’s efforts in exploring blue economy.
The blue economy has received immense importance after dissolving of the maritime boundary dispute with the country’s neighbours.
Bangladesh’s maritime boundary now stands at 1.18,813 kilometre after winning the maritime boundary battle against India and Myanmar. It has opened up a big window of opportunity, blue economy in particular, for Bangladesh.
It is believed that the Bay of Bengal is a huge source of mineral and other resources, proper exploration of which can fully change the fate of a nation.
But the state-run Bangladesh Oceanographic Research Institute (BORI) carry out its study work only by a small hired boat that can enter 10-12km deep into the sea, through which only coastal resource samples are collected.
As a result, the research works get hampered severely as resources in the deep seas largely remain unexplored because of the study team’s short entry. So, the initiative has been taken to buy a large ship instead of hiring small boats so that resource sample can be collected from 100km deep into the sea, which may require staying 10-12 days in the sea.
Bangladesh Oceanographic Research Institute (BORI) has taken the move to detect how much resources are concealed below the seabed.
“Currently, the maritime research is being done with hired boat, which can work only in coastal areas,” BORI Director General Sayeed Mahmood Belal Haider said.
“Moreover, researchers have to return to shore on daily basis. As a result, the accurate information can’t be collected,” he said.
“So, we’ll buy a ship which is called ocean sample collecting boat. It can reach 100km deep into the sea and can stay for 10-12 days in the sea, which can help in proper research,” DG added. He said that BORI will set up a lab and construct an international standard dormitory which can accommodate foreign researchers.
The ship will be collected under a Tk 4.44 billion Bangladesh Oceanographic Research Institute (2nd phase) project which may be tabled at the Ecnec meeting on Tuesday for approval, Planning Commission sources said.
The project eyes to create full capacity of maritime research for harnessing blue economy potentials. It seeks to set up an international standard oceanography laboratory and install modern equipment there to enhance maritime study capability.
Besides, these include expansion of main building for expanding study work, installing ocean observation system, creating marine biological culture unit, ocean equipmentation and setting up engineering workshop and construct other necessary infrastructure.
At the same time, the scheme aims to create a pool of technically skilled workforce on maritime research by setting up a training centre. Once the scheme is implemented, scope will be created on doing research on coastal region and climate change mitigation strategy.
Moreover, it will help the blue economy research and more data collection.
Since 2017, Bangladesh has been doing maritime research using light equipment. As a result, the research in deep sea can’t be possible. For this, the project is being implemented.