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Bangladesh: Why should St Martin’s be declared as a marine protected area by Dr Md Abdul Wahab and Dr Subrata Sarker October 13,2021   |  Source: The Financial Express

Bangladesh’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 118,813 km2 of the Bay of Bengal’s large marine ecosystem, located in the southeast corner of the country. With a 710 km coastline and three major coastal zones, Bangladesh possesses a unique coastal and marine habitat. This marine ecosystem is rich in biodiversity that encompasses a large number of fish, mollusk, mangrove, coral, plankton, seagrass and seaweed species. However, the ecosystem and biodiversity are under threat due to anthropogenic pressure, overexploitation, environmental change, and lack of awareness. Because of this, conservation initiatives are urgently needed for Bangladesh. Most initiatives for marine ecosystem conservation in Bangladesh focus mainly on fisheries management, specifically temporary bans as well as gear and size restrictions. However, to conserve the overall biodiversity of the marine ecosystem, a holistic approach is required. Declaration of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) is one of the modern concepts to conserve natural biodiversity. MPAs are dedicated spaces in the ocean for protecting and maintaining biological diversity as well as associated cultural resources.

Taking this into account, the government of Bangladesh has already declared two MPAs. In 2014, Swatch of No Ground was


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