Ocean Times News Desk: Ocean Times News Desk: : 22 JUNE 2023, THURSDAY, 21:44:55
The 852 square kilometer area are identified for Marine Protected Area (MPA) on increasing production, proper breeding, and conservation of fisheries resources starting from the Naf river estuary in Teknaf.
This was conveyed during the stakeholder consultation meeting on (MPA) proposal Designation at Teknaf Upazila Parishad Auditorium at the mouth of Naf River on Tuesday 20th June, says a press release.
Participants representing fishers, boat owners, fisher association leaders, political leaders, local government, journalists, and government officials shared their insights and perspectives on this crucial ecological conservation initiative.
The Department of Fisheries (DoF) organized the program in the Teknaf Upazila Parishad Auditorium, and the USAID funded ECOFISH II project, WorldFish Bangladesh, provided technical support.
Abdur Rahman Bodi, the Chief Guest and a former member of parliament, emphasized the significance of collaboration with local stakeholders to guarantee the success and inclusiveness of the MPA initiative. He thanked the Department of Fisheries for coordinating the program and WorldFish and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) for their assistance in establishing the 852 square kilometer MPA.
Shukaot Kabir Chowdhury, Assistant Director of the Department of Marine Fisheries in Chattogram, initiated the consultation by emphasizing the significance of establishing the MPA for balancing the conservations and livelihoods.
Dr. Nahiduzzaman, Scientist from the WorldFish delivered a presentation on the research outputs in collaboration with SUST to evaluate the potential of declaring the Naf River Estuary as MPA.
He provided a comprehensive overview of the status of marine areas under protection and highlighted the potential and significance of establishing an MPA in the ecologically rich Naf estuary and adjacent water body of the Teknaf coast. The study also identified several species listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List. Additionally, it highlighted the estuary’s crucial role as a nursery ground for commercially important species, underscoring its significance for conservation efforts.
Abdus Salam, President of the Moheshkhalia Para Ghat Committee, has raised concerns about the availability of alternative livelihood options for fishermen who would be directly impacted by the establishment of the Naf Marine Protected Area (MPA).
Abdul Goni, a fisherman from Jaliapara, Shahporir Dwip, has also highlighted the need for a compensation plan to support the affected fishermen in the region in the event of MPA establishment.
Shahad Mahbub Chowdhury, Environmental Specialist, World Bank, Mr. Badruzzaman, the District Fisheries Officer (DFO), and Arfanul Hoque Chowdhury (AC Land, Teknaf) all congratulated the initiative for establishing a new MPA for biodiversity conservation. With the establishment of the Naf River Estuary Marine Protected Area (MPA), Bangladesh will reach a significant milestone, as it will become the fifth MPA in the country and will contribute towards Bangladesh’s progress in attaining 10% of its SDG target by 2020.