Monday, 15 July, 2024, Reg No- 06
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Illegal fishing must be stopped to save our marine biodiversity

Published : Wednesday, 12 June, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 876

Illegal fishing must be stopped to save our marine biodiversity

Illegal fishing must be stopped to save our marine biodiversity

The most significant passage from the specialized statement explaining the dominance of the ocean is this one: Remember the world we call earth, where two-thirds of the earth are covered by the ocean. So, it is more their natural thing now to explain the world as Blue Earth, and whenever blue comes, the priorities of fishes come first as an economic source.

However, Bangladesh, the most fortunate country, has a sea area almost equal to its land. Day by day, our marine sector is flourishing. Different novel initiatives are taking place for the tremendous enhancement of the fisheries sector in combination with modern technology. Every step is now hope for a new pathway of economic growth. But, here and there, we face different threats that hamper the growth of what we solved from land to sea. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is the recent term attacking the marine sector.

It is a matter of fact, science reports that nearly 30% of BoB total pick-up is going via illegities, while field expressions are taught somewhere near 70%. When someone picks up fish in an illegal form, he uses maximum destructive ways as a single word sustainability is away from his language; profit is his core aim. This activity further disturbs the whole ecosystem, stopping its momentum to grow. The result is marine biodiversity moves to extinction. Consumption of such types of fishing methods deeply sucks the soul of the ocean bed to further its production. Not alone, fishers who are getting food from the ocean via our native techniques are also severely affected due to IUU fishing activities, as well stays under immense attendance of advancement.

Illegal fishing must be stopped to save our marine biodiversity

Illegal fishing must be stopped to save our marine biodiversity

The World Bank Report 2023 states that 1.4 million people are allied directly or indirectly with the fisheries sector. Similarly, such types of illegal fishing risks make the fishermen stop their profession or deny continuing their tradition to the next generations to adopt new services replacing seagoing activities. These hamper the economic stability of our country.

However, Bangladeshs National Plan of Action-IUU (NPOA-IUU) fishing was introduced to manage such activities by illegal fishing in 2019. It emphasizes MCS measures, data collection, monitoring, controlling, and surveillance (MCS). Moreover, Bangladesh began using Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), which allow real-time tracking of vessel movements and deter illicit activity. For instance, combining these technologies with satellite metaphor analysis can lead to better surveillance capabilities that identify suspicious patterns related to unregulated fishing. Nonetheless, the ability of these technologies to succeed is contingent on the efficient sharing of records among stakeholders at the national level.

To fight IUU fishing, nations should work together beyond their borders. This means that India, China, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka must effectively join hands in patrolling familiar territorial waters. Moreover, they should carry out combined counter-measures against IUU fishing across their shared borders. For example, such regional fisheries management organizations as the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) program are instrumental in enhancing information exchange among different stakeholders, ensuring consistency of fishery-related policies at all levels within a given region, and coordinating enforcement measures.

IUU fishing is a highly complex issue, and frequent incidents only stress the need for proper shading and collective approaches. As emphasized by international conventions and agreements, IUU fishing requires reinforcing legal frameworks with precise definitions and penalties for such activities. It is also essential to consider the existing gaps in monitoring Bangladeshs vast EEZ, necessitating MCS that include modern patrol vessels, advanced data analysis tools, and aerial surveillance.

This moment calls for a holistic vision that encompasses economic, social, and environmental dimensions. Co-management actions are not optional despite being required. Any achievement or incident ought to be viewed from its physical location and within its own community. The empowerment of the community would result in the auxiliary resources becoming owned or psychologically positive.

Promoting sustainable fishing practices like gearing restrictions and temporal closures based on scientific stock assessments is essential to the sustainability vision. However, its about more than just practices but transparency and accountability that eco-labeling and certification schemes bring. Seafood industry professionals can be guaranteed responsible fishing behavior throughout their supply chains by implementing these schemes.

Consumer awareness campaigns that show the environmental and social costs of IUU fishing will create pressure in the markets for responsibly sourced seafood. These systems make individuals have trust in both the procedure itself as well as the overall sector by making evident to consumers how their seafood choices matter at large.

Finally, its also imperative to run consumption-focused media efforts that educate the public about the true cost of IUU fishing. If only informed consumers who embrace sustainable seafood had a sense of empowerment. Eco-labeling and certification are two distinct strategies for encouraging ethical fishing throughout the supply chain and developing a market that rewards sustainable fishing.

However, this is not just a fight for Bangladesh; its a fight for the health of our planet. The Bay of Bengal is a microcosm of our more significant challenge - balancing economic development with environmental protection. By tackling IUU fishing effectively, we can set a powerful example for the world, demonstrating that a sustainable future is not just a dream but an achievable reality.

The writer is a Research Officer, Bangladesh Institute of Maritime Research and Development (BIMRAD)

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