Australia’s marine and coastal environments make a significant contribution to our economy and social wellbeing. The ecosystems within our oceans play an important role in cleaning and regulating our air and water, and provide vital habitats and breeding grounds for a rich array of species.
Ocean accounts organise data in a way that allow the complex environmental and economic systems present in our oceans to be described and inform decision making.
Ocean accounts compile information from diverse disciplines on a range of ocean based activities and attributes, including:
- coral reefs;
- tourism; and
- resource management.
Ocean accounts can support decision-makers, both within the private and public sector, to better understand the implications and long-term sustainability of their decisions.
Ocean accounts can consider a range of issues including:
- tracking the size and changing structure of the ocean economy and the condition of the marine environment; and
- identifying the jobs and industries which rely on specific ocean ecosystems.
Ocean Environmental-Economic Accounting is at the early stages of development. However, the department is partnering with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to help develop ocean accounting capacity in the Asia-Pacific region. This includes supporting pacific island countries develop pilot ocean accounts for ecosystems in their country.