The demand for Bangladeshi seafarers is increasing significantly in the global market opening up a new horizon for earning foreign currency for the country.
The number of Bangladesh marine officers increased more than four times during the last 18 years in the sea-going vessels owned by different countries of the world.
According to a recent survey by an international organization, the number of Bangladeshi-certified mariners on board of different seagoing vessels became 4,822 in 2005 compared to 1,110 in 1990.
Although, the demand for seafarers increased further since 2005, and the country, however, could not utilize its optimum opportunity as the number of certified marine officers still remain short compared to the demand.
Bangladesh is a white-listed country of International Maritime Organization (IMO). The country has also signed bilateral agreements with 18 countries of the world, which own most of the sea-going vessels.
The agreement helps make Bangladeshi mariners qualified for maneuvering the ships under the flags of those countries. They are also fit to get professional certificates from the maritime organizations of those countries.
According to the survey, each of the Bangladeshi master mariners is now earning US$ 6000 to US$ 7000 as salary per month while officers and engineers are getting US$ 2500 to US$ 5000.
Meanwhile, the Department of Shipping has also undertaken initiatives to ensure proper grading of professional certificates for the Bangladeshi seafarers in European countries.
As part of its steps, a team of European Union Maritime Agency visited Bangladesh recently to see for themselves the infrastructure and quality of education and professional examinations in Bangladesh.