The ocean’s trillion dollar blue economy |

The ocean is essential to the livelihoods and food security of billions of people around the globe. Shipping, tourism, transport, fisheries, oil and gas, renewable energy all depend on the sea. 

Two years ago, economists put a dollar value on what our oceans are worth and came up with $24 trillion. If it were a country, the sea would be the seventh-largest economy on the planet.

“When you look at the blue economy, it has an asset value of $24 trillion and that’s delivering something between $4-500bn each year in terms of the dividend to humanity,” says Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute. 

“Marine resources are being degraded by human activity throughout the world – that comes down to things like pollution, plastics, degradation of coastal mangroves, climate change, etc.

“But even with the amount of degradation that’s going on, we’re still deriving great benefits. The real interesting issue is that if we can reverse the tide of degradation, then we should be able to build the $24 trillion asset.”

In Indonesia, 70 percent of the population lives along its coastline and depends upon the ocean. But Indonesia is also the second largest plastic waste producer after China

Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen reports on how ocean waste is making its way into our food. Also exploring the blue economy, Jacob Ward reports on how commercial fishermen are dealing with the effects of overfishing.

Also on this episode of Counting the Cost:


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