PM seeks support to protect marine ecology

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged the IORA member states to respond quickly to save the marine ecological system as the protection of ocean and sea resources is essential to get long-term benefits from the Indian Ocean belt.

“We’ve to realise that every investment we make and every step we take to protect our oceans and marine resources is well worth in the long-term regional benefits,” she said while inaugurating the 3rd IORA- Blue Economy Ministerial Conference at Intercontinental hotel in the city.

The ministers and representatives of the Indian Ocean Rim Association countries participated in the two-day conference titled Promoting Sustainable Blue Economy – making the best use of opportunities from the Indian Ocean.

The prime minister said oceans and seas absorb almost 30 per cent of all greenhouse gases as well as 90 per cent of the excess heat caused by global warming.

‘The existence of human race will be in peril if the marine ecological system disrupts. We need to respond very quickly to tackle these challenges. We need to be concerned about the all kinds of illegal activities in the ocean,’ she said.

Sheikh Hasina said a properly coordinated, profitable and overall a protective policy to the sea and ocean has to be adopted and act accordingly to achieve the goal.

‘We’ve to keep it in mind that we cannot sacrifice the marine environment in pursuing economic growth. We should simultaneously look blue economic growth and think blue,’ she said.

For the conservation of the marine lives, she mentioned, Bangladesh has completely banned fishing by destructive methods and means.

Hasina said her government had formulated short, medium and long-term plan of actions with a view to conserving, controlled harnessing, managing and development of fishes in the Bay of Bengal.

The prime minister hoped that IORA members will take decisions in unison and friendly atmosphere to help build a unified sustainable blue economic belt in this region.

Bangladesh is going to take charges as the vice-chair on October 1, 2019 for two years and the chair on October 1, 2021 for next two years of the IORA, she said seeking cooperation from all the members in discharging these challenging duties.