The value of the riches of the ocean rivals in volume with the largest economies in the world, but their resources are degraded very quickly, according to a report released by WWF. “Reviving the economy of the ocean: the need for action in 2016”, analyzes the role of the ocean as an economic engine and highlights the threats that are approaching the ecological collapse.
According to conservative estimates of the report, the value of key assets ocean amount to at least $ 24 trillion. Compared with the ten largest world economies, the ocean would be the seventh, with an annual value of goods and services US $ 2.5 trillion.
The report, prepared in collaboration with the Institute for Global Change at the University of Queensland and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is the most comprehensive review to date of the asset value of the ocean. “Reviving the economy Ocean” reveals the immense wealth of the ocean through the valuation of their goods and services-from fisheries to coastal protection against storms-but the report also describes the relentless assault on its resources because of the overuse, misuse and climate change.
“The wealth of the ocean rivals that of the most prosperous countries, but are letting it sink into the abyss of a failed economy,” said the Director General of WWF International, Marco Lambertini. “As a responsible shareholder, we can not continue to exploit the valuable assets of the ocean without investing in its future.”
According to the report, more than two thirds of the annual value offered by the ocean depend on the health of their ecosystems. The collapse of fisheries, mangrove destruction or disappearance of coral and seagrass beds are some of the factors that are threatening the marine economic engine of which depend the lives of millions of people worldwide.
“Being able to quantify both the annual value as the total value of assets of the oceans shows what is at stake with clear numbers, both economically and environmentally. We hope this serves as a wake-up call for economic and political leaders make wiser decisions when it comes to shaping the future of our common ocean economy “, said Douglas Beal, partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group.
The research reflected in the report shows that the ocean is changing faster now than at any other time in millions of years. At the same time, the increasing human population and our dependence on the health of the seas becomes restoring the ocean economy in a matter of highest global priority.
“The ocean has never been so threatened. Are fishing too many fish, pouring pollutants too, increasing the temperature and acidity to a point in which essential natural systems simply stop working “, said Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, coordinator of the report and Director of Global Change Institute at the Australian University of Queensland.
Climate change is a major cause of the decline in ocean health. According to the report, the current rate of warming, coral reefs, which provide food, employment and protection from storms hundreds of millions of people – have completely disappeared in 2050. Not only is the temperature: the ocean will take hundreds human to reverse the increase in acidity caused by climate change generations.
Over-exploitation is another major cause of the decline of the ocean, with 90% of the world fully exploited or overexploited fisheries. For example, the bluefin tuna in the Pacific has suffered a decline of 96%.
It is not too late to reverse these troubling trends and ensure a healthy ocean that benefit people, the economy and nature. “Reviving the economy of the Ocean” has a plan of action for eight points that would restore the ocean’s resources to their full potential.
Among the most urgent solutions offered by the report it is to include the recovery of the ocean in the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, act globally against climate change and meet commitments to protect marine and coastal areas.
“The ocean feeds us, it gives us work and supports our health and wellbeing, but are leaving it to collapse before our eyes. If the stories of everyday life on the decline of ocean does not inspire our leaders, perhaps a clear economic analysis succeeds. We have much work to do to protect the ocean, starting with real global commitments on climate and sustainable development, “said Lambertini.
The global ocean WWF campaign, Sustain Our Seas, it is built on the basis of decades of work of the organization and its allies in marine conservation. WWF is working with governments, businesses and local communities to urge world leaders to take urgent steps to revive the economy of the ocean and protect the lives and livelihoods of billions of people worldwide measures.
Pablo Guerrero, Coordinator Tuna Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) for the Smart Fishing Initiative, WWF. . firstname.lastname@example.org, Cel +593 9 99204171 / + 593-4-603 8994 Office / IP: 202-495 4879 / skype: papagolfo65
Julio Mario Fernandez, Director of Communications, WWF-LAC. JulioMario.Fernandez@wwfus.org, Cel. + 593 9 83356421 / + 593 2 2554783 Office
Jose Luis Garcia, head of the marine program of WWF Spain. email@example.com, +34 690762163