Swatch of No-Ground declared protected zone
The government has announced ‘the Swatch of No-Ground’ -- a spawning and breeding area of many endangered oceanic species -- as the first marine protected area of the country.
The Swatch of No-Ground, an 1738-square km area with an average depth of 900 meter located in the southern side of the Dublachar island in the Bay of Bengal, is a key breeding and spawning ground of dolphins, whales, sharks and turtles.
At least five globally endangered dolphins and eight species of whales including the fin whales, hunch back whale, common sperm whale, killer whale and brydes whale breed and reside in the area, according to a press release issued today by the Department of Forest.
The environment and forest ministry on October 27 issued a circular announcing the area as protected under the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, 2012 which would restrict fishing and other offshore commercial activities there.
The initiative would ensure long-term protection of the cetaceans (the dolphins, whales and porpoises) species inhabiting in the offshore waters of Bangladesh.
“This is a momentous occasion for Bangladesh and we are proud to protect the rich diversity of marine species inhabiting in our waters,” said Yunus Ali, Chief Conservator of Forests of the Government of Bangladesh.