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Human harm to oceans comes with staggering price tag by Randy Boswell April 02,2012   |  Source: Postmedia News

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 idea, the researchers say, is to have citizens and policymakers experience a kind of sticker shock when "the actual monetary value of the critical ocean services that we stand to lose" is revealed through a scientific-economic calculation.

"By stressing the links between multiple marine stressors and the huge value of the vital services that the ocean provides to humankind," Sumaila told Postmedia News, contributors to the report "hope

 

© Postmedia News

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