Australia’s marine and coastal environments contribute to our economy and social wellbeing. Our ocean ecosystems clean and regulate our air and water. They also provide vital habitats and breeding grounds for a rich array of species.
Ocean accounts organise data so we can describe the complex environmental and economic systems present in our oceans. We use them to inform decisions about how we manage our oceans.
Ocean accounts compile information from diverse disciplines on ocean-based attributes and activities, including:
- coral reefs
- resource management.
How you can use the ocean accounts
Ocean accounts can help us to make better decisions about how we manage our marine ecosystems and resources. These resources are connected and are shared by all people on our planet.
Ocean accounts can help decision makers in the private and public sectors. It helps them better understand the long-term implications of their decisions.
Ocean accounts can involve:
- tracking the size and changing structure of the ocean economy and the condition of the marine environment
- identifying the jobs and industries which rely on specific ocean ecosystems.
Australia participates in the United Nations supported High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. Australia is contributing to this panel by supporting the development of 2 ocean account pilots.
Ocean accounting for the environment is still at the early stages of development. Both pilots are applying and testing the preliminary draft of the Technical Guidance on Ocean Accounting for Sustainable Development which was developed by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Lessons learnt through the pilots will inform ongoing development of guidelines and standards for ocean accounting.