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Bangladesh: Exploiting Bay of Bengal resources February 18,2020   |  Source: The Financial Express

With the approval of the Bangladesh Maritime Zones Act, 2019, last year, doors are now wide open for the country to exploit the rich marine resources in the Bay of Bengal, exercising the country's sovereign rights over the extended maritime boundary. The new act, which has replaced the Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974, is said to be more comprehensive and updated. It ensures the right to tap enormous potential of the country's blue economy. The new act has, according to reports, 14 chapters and 137 sections that deal with a number of maritime-related issues which were absent in the previous act. It has several new and contemporary issues such as maritime terrorism, ocean governance, exclusive economic zone, warfare, submarine cable, anti-piracy, grey area, criminal and civil jurisdiction in sea vessels and nuclear waste transportation.

As defined in the act, the 'Blue Economy' is comprised of economic activities that directly or indirectly take place in the seas, oceans and coastal waters using sea/oceanic resources; exploration and exploitation of ocean resources in a sustainable manner. There is also provision for appropriate use of ocean and coastal waters; use of ocean products as main input; making use of goods and services to support activities of the

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