In its maritime boundary, Bangladesh has detected an abundance of seaweed and gas hydrate for commercial use. This discovery was made over a two-year survey which was conducted by the maritime affairs department of the UK and the Netherlands ministries. According to the details provided by the ministry, the maritime boundary has a reserve of 0.11 to 0.63 trillion cubic feet of gas hydrate which equals 17-103 tcf of natural gas reserves.
‘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, said Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen. 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’, he added.
Besides Bangladesh, the Krishna-Godavari basin in Indian territory has potential for huge gas hydrate reserves. Mr. Momen has also emphasized that the seaweed will graciously supply the feed industry here in Bangladesh, by stating, ‘These seaweeds can be used for fish feed and animal feed production as some of these have huge protein content and animal fat.’
Dr. AK Abdul Momen has said, ‘we hope that the technology will be available soon and then we will be able to start an exploration of our reserve’, implying that the technology for gas hydrate exploration is not available as many developed nations are still yet to extract their own reserves.
‘Agar-Agar’ is a food additive found in some seaweed, hence importing this component can be reduced for the food processing industry in Bangladesh, contributing towards a healthy foreign exchange rate. The gelling agent is also a component found in seaweeds, which can also be commercially supplied to the cosmetic industry which can be used in the manufacturing of skincare cosmetics, the minister said.