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The Financial Express

Bangladesh finds huge reserves of seaweed, gas hydrate in Bay

| Updated: January 06, 2022 09:03:55


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Bangladesh has detected a huge presence of seaweed and gas hydrate in its maritime boundary for commercial use.

The findings are made through a two-year survey conducted by the maritime affairs unit of the foreign ministry. The UK and the Netherlands supported the survey to detect marine genetic resources in the Bay of Bengal.

Briefing the media on the survey findings, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said, “The survey finds the presence of 220 species of seaweed, 347 species of fish, 52 species of shrimp, five species of lobster, 498 species of shell and 61 species of sea-grass.”

“Among the seaweed species, several have huge potential for industrial and commercial use. The survey found five types of commercial use of the seaweeds found in the Bay.”

“These seaweeds can be used for fish feed and animal feed production as some of these have huge protein content and animal fat,” the minister said, adding that Bangladesh has a huge domestic market for animal feed.

Some of the seaweed can be used as food additives as these contain ‘Agar-Agar’ which are being imported by the food processing industry in the country.

Besides, the Bay shelters several species of seaweed that contain a high volume of gelling agent, heavily used in the cosmetic industry.

These seaweeds contain high-value cosmetic ingredients which are used to manufacture skincare cosmetics, the minister pointed out.

The minister said that through a seismic remote sensing study, it is assumed that the country’s exclusive economic zone in the maritime boundary has a reserve of 0.11 to 0.63 trillion cubic feet of gas-hydrate. This gas-hydrate reserve equals 17-103 tcf of natural gas.

The exact volume can be ascertained after the detailed seismic survey, the minister said.

As the technology for the exploration of gas hydrate from the sea is not available many developed countries are yet to extract their reserve.

“We hope that the technology will be available soon and then we will be able to start an exploration of our reserve” Dr Momen added.

 

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