In an age where value is only understood if we slap a '$' sign infront of it, allow me to do so for the oceans. $24 trillion. Making oceans the world's 7th largest economy. Not to mention a vast expanse of life, beauty and mystery.
This is a plea to the business community - the oceans are one of the planet's biggest assets. Whether or not it features on the balance sheet. Its being monetized every second by soaking up half the carbon dioxide you pump into the atmosphere (~$4.3 trillion). You have already exploited 2/3 of the world's fisheries ($6.9 trillion). You even capitalize it as a part of the insatiable tourist industry ($7.8 trillion). And lets not forget basic trading routes that have been used for eons - guided by the stars then, by $ signs now ($5.2 trillion).
And yet you are unperturbed by the strain on marine ecosystems by overfishing, pollution and climate change? Perhaps it is time you reassessed this invisible asset on your balance sheet, before it evaporates.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, lead author of the report and director of the Australia-based Global Change Institute, said it was important that the business community understood the value of the oceans so that a strategy could be devised to reverse its decline. “If you don’t look after an asset like the ocean it starts to degrade so it’s important we start to solve these problems now on an international basis,” he said. “The oceans are in a bad state that is rapidly getting worse. Fisheries are starting to collapse, there are record levels of pollution, such as plastic pollution, and there is climate change.”