Preserving our marine wealth

Overview

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Great Barrier Reef © Robert Ling|underwater photo of fish and reef

CPD’s analysis shows that the new National Marine Parks within the proposed Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network cover an area that provides $1.2 billion each year in ecosystem services which are not currently recognised in Australia’s economic accounts.

Preserving our marine wealth, the report by CPD Fellow Caroline Hoisington and Research Director Laura Eadie, looks at the proven benefits of marine parks for fish stocks (and therefore for the fishing industry), and estimates the value of ecosystem services provided by areas to be covered by the new marine parks. It also puts the modest and short-term economic impacts of the new marine reserves on the fishing industry in context, noting the need to avoid the flaws in the Great Barrier Reef compensation package, and looking at the advantages of designing compensation to support the long-term profitability of commercial fishers in Australia.

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Marine parks have been shown to have numerous benefits, leading to larger fish and more biodiversity. The parks make marine ecosystems more resilient to environmental shocks and act as restocking areas for the surrounding waters. Studies show that in the long run they provide benefits to fishers.

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