Billions lost in our oceans

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Fiji Times Online, 1st April 2018

Fiji is set to lose $2.4 billion per annum from 2050 onwards as a result of our depleting marine ecosystem.

International Union for Conservation of Nature Regional Director Mason Smith said all this could be avoided if people took extra precautionary measures.

Mr Smith said according to the Marine Ecosystem Services Valuation Reports and Infographics supplied by the Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Management in Pacific Island Countries (MACBIO), achieving the loss worth $2.4b is possible judging from the rate at which we are going.

Mr Smith blamed human activities as one of the major causes of the depletion the country's marine ecosystem.

He said according to the research by MACBIO published in 2015, Fiji's marine ecosystem was worth $2.4b, that was more than the country's total exports.

The report reads that $128 million of the country's gross domestic product came from fishing and aquaculture, subsistence fishing for local communities is worth at least $59m. Coral reefs and mangrove save the country $21.2m worth of coastal protection.

Mr Smith said the report indicated that Fiji was losing about 3 per cent of mangroves every year and by 2050 we may have lost $213m because of its potential use for medicine, firewood and access from storm surges.

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