The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living structure, spanning an area larger than the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the Netherlands put together, is not only a haven for countless thousands of marine species. The Great Barrier Reef also provides enormous economic services to people, with tourism, fishing, and recreational and scientific activities associated with the Reef supporting 64,000 jobs and contributing $6.4 billion (U.S. S4.9 billion) to the Australian GDP, according to an analysis published by the international financial advisory service Deloitte.
“The livelihoods and businesses the Great Barrier Reef supports across Australia far exceeds the numbers supported by many industries we would consider too big to fail,”according to a report prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, At what price? The economic, social and icon value of the Great Barrier Reef.
“This timely report is a much needed, holistic view of the incredible economic value and opportunities provided by the Great Barrier Reef. Any failure to protect this indispensable natural resource would have profound impacts not only to Australia but around the worl,” former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said in reaction to the report.
The analysis follows the unprecedented massive damage done to the Great Barrier Reef for two consecutive years by bleaching, a process whereby the warming ocean has been killing off much of the coral. (Great Barrier Reef being killed by coral bleaching, Unesco warns).