The importance of estimating the contribution of the oceans to national economies

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Kildow, JT & McIlgorm, A 2010, 'The importance of estimating the contribution of the oceans to national economies', Marine Policy, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 367-374.

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The oceans are in trouble. Poorly understood and unprecedented environmental and economic changes are underway in our world's oceans that will significantly affect life in the sea as well as on land. Only in the last thirty years has the contribution of the ocean sector to the economy been measured. An examination of these studies has exposed definitional, conceptual and methodological differences in measuring marine-related economic activity in the economy, making comparisons difficult. Both the ocean and the coastal economies face a world of volatile changes. In the ocean economy marine transport faces unpredictable fuel costs. Coastal tourism also faces losses from climate change impacts and sea level rise. Finally, a warming ocean and increasing acidification of the oceans from greenhouse gases is already affecting coral reefs and a range of fish stocks. Economic measures are important to predict these impacts, as are economic measures of the resilience of different areas of the ocean and coastal economies. This article demonstrates how knowledge of both the ocean, coastal and national economies can help governments address the future impacts and demands posed by nature and human populations on our coasts and oceans.

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