Preserving Oceans: Key to a Sustainable Future

Tahsin Muhtady

I am Tahsin Muhtady, a Bangladeshi student but was born in Japan on 22 February 2010. Now I am a student of Grade-IX from the Rajshahi University School and working with the “Institute of Natural Resources Research and Development” for some biological and conservational research related to the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh) which is the part of the Indian Ocean. I have gained some experiences from a project “Stock Assessment of Commercially Important Fishes in the Bay of Bengal through Multi-model Inferences and Molecular Markers: Management Policy Implications Considering the Emerging Climate Change” with an aim to upgrade the livelihoods of fishers through sustainable management of marine fisheries; and to identify the major man-made and climatic threats/ factors to fisheries resources in the BoB, Bangladesh. Additionally, I have been working with national fish Tenualosa ilisha from the Bay of Bengal and one paper (Life-history traits of Hilsa, Tenualosa Ilisha: Needed for sustainable management” has been recently presented in an International Conference during 8-9 June 2024 in Bangladesh.

Preserving Oceans: Key to a Sustainable Future
Age 14 - 17
The theme “Oceans of Opportunity: Preserving Today for Tomorrow” highlights the potential of oceans to address climate change and their role in attaining a sustainable future. The theme is pertinent as it draws attention to the conservation of oceans, specifically the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. These two coastal regions are ideally suitable to conserve as they are significant for climate services and are both enriched in biodiversity. By conserving these coastal areas, it is possible to mitigate climate change and to preserve the biodiversity in the area.
How Oceans Help in Climate Change Mitigation: Oceans play a crucial role in earth’s climatic systems. They a substantial carbon sink as they cable of absorbing around 30% of the anthropogenic emissions of CO2. In addition to that, the oceans in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean work as great heat absorbers and can stop any development of global warming. Hence, the preservation is necessary because these physical phenomena help curb climate change by absorbing carbon and heat and keeping the Earth cool. The currents in these regions help in regularizing wind and in influencing local as well as international weather.
How Human activities impact the oceans: Human activities have made it challenging for the oceans to maintain their natural and essential functions. Overfishing in the Bay of Bengal has led to a minuscule fraction of fish diversity. Such activities have created risks for the sustainability of fish. These sustainable yields should be maintained and monitored regularly.
Role of Pollution in the region and how they can be reduced: Noise pollution is harmful to any form of wildlife. The Indian Ocean is a victim of many pollutants like plastic, oil and dispersants, and heavy chemical contaminants. Waste is rarely separated and disposed of. Lack of knowledge of food chains also leads to increased pollution. ELCOME and other international organizations should be stricter in imposing laws and harsher in penalties.
Issues about protecting marine biodiversity: The wanton killing of aquatic animals, whether as bycatch or through targeted hunting, endangers biodiversity in the marine waters. It is therefore imperative to protect endangered species and promote sustainable fishing. Establishment and the maintenance of Marine Protected Areas are vital in this regard. These are uninhabited waters that remain off-limit to fishermen and investors. In them, marine life can thrive and recover without the prospect of any disturbance from humans.
Promotion of the Blue Economy: The Blue Economy is the sustainable use of the marine resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs, all while reducing biodiversity loss in the oceans. In promoting the blue economy, countries around the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean can maximize the economic potential of their waters to benefit mankind and the state of the planet. As such, countries can invest in marine aquaculture, eco-tourism, and sustainable energy from the seas and oceans.
Conclusion: Sustainable use of the marine waters and resources is not on optional activity, but a means of safeguarding the ocean for future use. The Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean are clear examples of the sort of positive outcomes that public and private investments, for-profit and non-profit groups, and academic organizations can achieve when it comes to managing the surrounding marine environment sustainably. It is our duty to ensure that we do not recklessly overfish the waters, pollute the beaches, or allow biodiversity in the ocean to diminish. It is only through such a commitment to the “Oceans of Opportunity” that we can ensure a better tomorrow for the people and the marine life of the bay and the ocean.

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