From The Times Colonist:
A Canadian researcher is at the centre of a provocative new international study that puts an eye-popping price tag on the damage being done to the world’s oceans and fisheries - a cost that could reach $2 trillion a year by 2100 - from carbon emissions, over-fertilization, over-fishing and other human impacts.
University of British Columbia fisheries economist Rashid Sumaila, a leading critic of international fishing policies, is co-editor of the 300-page Valuing The Ocean report released last week at the high-profile Planet Under Pressure environmental conference in Britain.
The study, touted as a “unique,” monetary assessment of global ocean health and threats, is the latest attempt by ecosystem-conscious scientists to affix financial value to planetary resources taken for granted in traditional models of economic activity.
The project was coordinated by the Swedish-based Stockholm Environment Institute, which said in a statement that “the ocean is the victim of a massive market failure,” and that “the true worth of its ecosystems, services, and functions is persistently ignored by policy-makers and largely excluded from wider economic and development strategies.”
Sumaila said that “the combined global and local threats to the ocean are unprecedented in human history. Incremental change and business-as-usual will not suffice.”
But the global ocean crisis “can be rectified,” the UBC researcher added, “if the ocean and the services it provides are placed at the heart of global efforts to build a green economy for the future.”
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