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Workshop on Blue Economy from Mon Dhaka wants to build ties on ocean economy

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Staff reporter
Bangladesh wants to establish links and build relations with countries and organizations working in the field of ocean research and resources in an effort to ensure the protection and exploration of marine resources in a better way, says a senior official.
The official at the Foreign Ministry said the issue will come up for discussion prominently in a two-day international workshop on ‘Blue Economy’ to be held in Dhaka from Monday through which Bangladesh wants to get exposed to the global debate.
According to Foreign Ministry sources, Bangladesh is in a process to identify elements and course of action for developing a maritime policy and a strategy for Bangladesh through better understanding the dynamics of ocean-based blue economy.
After consecutive wins with Myanmar and India, Bangladesh is trying to move ahead with a ‘land and sea’ strategy as the importance of sea is growing globally.
Bangladesh, according to Foreign Ministry sources, wants to expand scientific options to protect, preserve and exploit ocean resources for sustainable development.
Some 32 representatives from 20 countries, including eights global experts on blue economy, will attend the workshop and share their experiences and ideas apart from the participation of experts from the host country.
Bangladesh is hosting the workshop to discuss ways to better explore the untapped resources of the Bay of Bengal.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the workshop at city’s Sonargaon Hotel on Monday.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan and State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, among others, will address its inaugural session.
There will be three working sessions -- ocean resources for sustainable development, access to acquire ocean resources and turning ocean resources for a prosperous future.
The workshop, according to an official at the Foreign Ministry, will help raise more awareness and broaden horizons towards utilizing the resources of the sea and thus bring about socioeconomic changes in the lives of Bangladesh people.
Addressing the ‘Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth’ held at the World Forum in the Dutch capital recently, Mahmood Ali said Bangladesh government seeks the blue economy growth related to resources of the ocean.
He called for good governance for conventional fisheries management, establishment of marine protected areas, transfer of technology, promotion and protection of traditional knowledge, reducing marine pollution, capacity building for fish stock assessment and sustainable management of small scale fisheries.
Some 30 million people of Bangladesh have had direct livelihood dependence on oceanic economic activities like fisheries and commercial transportation.
Despite such dependence, countries like Bangladesh do not possess the critically required resources, capabilities and technologies for leveraging their marine resources.
The total collection of fish from the Bay is around 6 million tonnes annually. Of this, Bangladesh’s share is only 0.29 million tones.