A video documentary on the Marine Fisheries Academy was also screened at the programme.
This year, a total of 84 female and male cadets, including 33 cadets in the nautical department, 31 cadets in the marine engineering department and 20 cadets in the marine fisheries department, took part in the passing out parade at the 41st batch of the academy.
The prime minister remotely witnessed the passing out parade and took salute.
Referring to attaining a vast sea area from India and Myanmar, Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League government has laid special emphasis on “Blue Economy”.
She said extraction of resources from the sea has opened a new door in the socio-economic development of country’s growing population.
“I hope that with your active participation, the extraction of marine resources will be further enhanced, which will enrich our economy and at the same time the goal of the government’s blue economy will be realised,” she said.
The prime minister said that the Bay of Bengal, a reservoir of natural resources, is constantly supplying a huge amount of fishes to meet the demand for protein of the people.
“So, you have to play a leading role in extraction, preservation and marketing of fisheries from the Bay of Bengal alongside conservation of its biodiversity and prevention of environmental pollution,” she added.
The prime minister said that the cadets, after being trained from the academy, are going to become fearless sailors in the deep sea.
“I firmly believe that this knowledge, gained through hard work, determination and intensive training, will be helpful in your future work,” she said.
She hoped that in order to survive in this ever-changing and competitive modern world, you have already prepared yourself with the knowledge you have acquired.
“I think that by learning these qualities you will brighten the image of the country fulfilling respective responsibilities in the new workplace,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had given priority on agricultural and industrial revolution and the maritime sector to shape economy of war-torn Bangladesh after independence.
In this regard, she said that the Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974 was enacted by Bangabandhu for Bangladesh at a time when there was no specific standard for framing the maritime law in the world.
She mentioned that the United Nations later adopted the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982 as an international maritime law.
She continued that the Marine Fisheries Academy, the first maritime educational institution in independent Bangladesh, was established in 1973.
The premier also said the academy was established to generate trained manpower in the fisheries sector for efficient extraction of fish resources from the country’s vast seas to meet the protein demand of the largest population and earn foreign currency.
Sheikh Hasina regretted that after the assassination of the Father of the Nation in 1975, the progress of the Marine Fisheries Academy was hampered and at that time no development was made.
The prime minister mentioned that since the Awami League government assumed power, it is transforming this institution into an international standard maritime educational institution.
During this time, she said, the expansion of academic buildings, enhancement of facilities in various labs and library, collection of modern training equipment and construction of male and female cadet hostels have been done.
At the same time, facilities have also been created for the physical and mental development of the cadets alongside setting up of a modern standard swimming pool, auditorium and gymnasium, she added.
According to the election manifesto of Awami League government, she said female cadets are being admitted to this academy for the development of women’s education and their empowerment.
She mentioned that the recruitment of female cadets started through the 32nd batch in 2010.
Sheikh Hasina said from 2018, Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC) is being issued by the Department of Shipping for the cadets of this institution who completed pre-C training of the Department of Nautical and Marine Engineering to provide scope for getting job in the maritime sector abroad.
“As a result, the cadets of this academy have got the opportunity to get employment in the sea-going merchant ships and their fields of work have expanded all over the world.”
Mentioning that Marine Fisheries Academy was affiliated to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University since 2018, she said four-year BSc (Hons) in Nautical Studies, BSc (Hons) in Engineering and BSc (Hons) in Marine Fisheries degrees are being offered from it.
“For this, after completing their education from this academy, the path of higher education of the cadets has become easier,” she added.
The prime minister said initiatives have been taken to install modern simulators (artificial sea training system) for the academy and “I think it will be done quickly”.
When it is attached to the academy, it will soon be upgraded to an international standard maritime educational institution, she added.
She said so far, 1,914 cadets, including 58 female cadets who have successfully passed out from the academy, have been working hard in various maritime sectors at home and abroad to strengthen the foundation of the country’s economy.