NT coast value counted
Economic analysis has found the Northern Territory's coastal and marine environments are worth $2 billion per year and support 6,500 jobs.
The Coastal and Marine Management Strategy Report by the Australian Marine Conservation Society found marine and coastal tourism is the greatest economic contributor, bringing in $691 million per year, followed by recreational fishing, which is worth about $76 million per year.
Adele Pedder, a spokesperson for Keep Top End Coasts Healthy, said the document is an opportunity for the Government, stakeholders, and the community.
“Our coastal environment is worth billions and thousands of jobs to Territorians. It needs to be protected, managed and funded to protect what we've got,” she said in a statement.
“The NT marine environment should be there for everyone to enjoy — for recreational fishing, and just enjoying nature — but without proper protection and management, the Top End coasts and seas are at risk.
“We've got to protect it for our kids and grandkids. The health of our coasts is too valuable to risk, and we need a plan that will properly protect our coasts, and their economic value, into the future.”
Mangroves, seagrasses and tidal saltmarshes in NT coastal waters were estimated at $65 million per year. The analysts say mangroves service the economy by providing storm protection and habitat for fish.
“Ecosystems provide a range of services that are of fundamental importance to human wellbeing, health, livelihoods and survival,” the report stated.
It said environment assets should be preserved, rather than be seen as an impediment to economic and social development.