New report reveals value of oceans

Media Release

For the first time the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released experimental information on some of the benefits provided by Australia’s oceans.

Jonathon Khoo, Director of Environment and Satellite Accounts, said the National Ocean Account showed there was over 1 million hectares of mangrove forests and up to 3 million hectares of seagrass meadows in 2021.

“Mangroves and seagrasses play a large role in supporting communities. For example, mangroves protect over 18,000 kilometres or 30 per cent of Australia’s total coastline. That translates to safeguarding about 175,000 people from natural hazards like floods and storms.

“Alternatively, using means other than mangroves to protect 85,000 homes could cost the community over $200 billion up front and up to $8 billion annually,” said Mr Khoo.

“Western Australia absorbs up to 2.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually or about 20 per cent of Australian sequestration from mangroves and seagrass.

“Meanwhile, South Australia can provide over 30 per cent of carbon removal services (sequestration) from seagrass meadows,” said Mr Khoo.

The National Ocean Ecosystem Account is a joint project between the ABS and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Further information can be found in National Ocean Account, Experimental Estimates Aug 2022.

Media notes

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