Isabela Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Bangladesh, will conduct an expedition into the Swatch of No-Ground in the Bay of Bengal, which is home to a mysterious submarine canyon.
Director of Save Our Sea, a philanthropic organization, SM Atiqur Rahman and 39 other researchers will launched the deep sea expedition on November 17 (Friday).
The announcement was made by Isabela Foundation Chairperson Kabir Bin Anwar at press conference in Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on Wednesday.
“Meen Sandhani,” a modern survey ship, teams from the Bangladesh Navy, and Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock will join the researchers in the five-day expedition.
Kabir Bin Anwar said: “We will travel to the depth of 200 metres into the Bay of Bengal and use survey equipment to explore the flora and fauna living in the Swatch of No-Ground.
"Discovering the biodiversity and the natural environment in that submarine canyon is the primary goal of our expedition."
Stating that the submarine canyon stretches for at least 1,700 kilometres, Anwar added that Bangladesh shares the canyon with India and Sri Lanka, and the expedition will be conducted inside the Bangladesh maritime border.
Commenting on the expedition, Chief Adviser of the Isabela research team Dr Anisuzzaman Khan said forty researchers from 12 departments under different organizations are ready to delve into the submarine canyon with modern equipment.
Earlier on March this year, a team of 13 Bangladeshi researchers mapped the Swatch of No-Ground area with the support from Bangladesh Navy's ship Karatoya, and the upcoming expedition is a follow up on the research.
After conducting the March expedition, Dr Anisuzzaman revealed that the Swatch of No-Ground a 173,800 hectare area in the Bay of Bengal, and it is one of the 11 deepest canyons in the world.
Researchers say the canyon formed over 125,000 years ago.
Known as the treasure trove of marine biota, the Swatch of No-Ground is the host to several species of whales, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and other rare species. The region holds a special significance in realizing the proposed “Blue Economy” in Bangladesh.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune