Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Bangladesh Announces New MPA Around Saint Martin’s Island


Bangladesh has announced the creation of a new 1,743-square-km/672-square-mile marine protected area.

The new MPA is centered around Saint Martin’s Island, which hosts an enormous amount of biodiversity and is home to the country’s only coral reef that has more than 230 finfish species.

The island, known locally as “Coconut Island,” has 7,000 residents who rely heavily on seasonal tourism for their livelihoods. The designation of the waters around the island as an MPA aims to protect them from the over-exploitation caused by the booming tourist industry.

The new MPA will not only protect the local wildlife but also migrating species in the area like whale sharks, green, loggerhead, olive ridley turtles, and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.

According to Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Deputy Minister Habibun Nahar:

“The St. Martin’s Island MPA, together with the existing Swatch-of-no-ground MPA and two other marine reserves declared by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, brings Bangladesh one step closer towards achieving our national goal and international obligation under the Convention on Biodiversity and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to protect 10 percent of our marine waters.”

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for