Experts, at a recent seminar, have said that the nation must become aware of the environmental challenges to prevent marine pollution and save the Bay of Bengal.
Plastic and forms of pollution may render the bay useless within the next 30 to 50 years, they opined at the seminar – The importance of building an ocean-literate nation for the protection, restoration and sustainable use of the sea – at the Bangladesh Ocean Research Institute (BORI) auditorium at Pechardwip in Ramu upazila, Cox's Bazar on Wednesday (12 January).
BORI along with Octofin, an organisation promoting oceanography, jointly arranged the seminar.
BORI Director General (DG) (Additional Secretary) Saeed Mahmud Belal Haider was present as the chief guest and the special guests were Chittagong University (CU) Professor and Dean of the faculty of fisheries Dr Rashedunnabi Rafi and former chief hydrographer for Bangladesh Navy Sheikh Mahmudul Hasan.
According to the speakers, in order to increase knowledge about the sea, it is important to include ocean-related topics in the textbooks for grades one to twelve.
CU oceanography department Associate Professor Dr Wahidul Alam said microbial pollution has increased in the Bay of Bengal and warned that this will have a very negative impact on the country's tourism sector.
Experts highlighted that at present no marine-related chapters are taught in classes 1-12 and many are reluctant to accept brutal the reality of marine pollution.
At the seminar, the experts said that a proper action plan should be adopted to protect the Bay of Bengal and suggested stopping the use of one-time plastic in tourist areas to stop pollution.
Chittagong University Oceanography Department Assistant Prof Dr Md Saidul Islam Sarkar and Dr Enamul Haque, BORI Senior Scientific Officer (Chemical Oceanography) Abu Saeed Mohammad Sharif and Senior Scientific Officer (Geological Oceanography) Md Zakaria also spoke at the discussion.