Marine pollution in the oceans costs loss of billions of dollars to humanity every year due to lost and damaged resources. Aquaculture, fisheries, global well being and recreational activities all are adversely affected due to marine pollution with a 1 to 5% decrease in the advantages that humans derive from the oceans.
Plastic waste costs up to 33 thousand dollars per ton in the reducing value of the environment. The plastics that remain in the water for thousands of years led to the formation of algae and bacteria. This formation spread the risk of invasive diseases and species. Recycling of plastic may cost us hundreds of dollars, but it will cost us thousands if it enters the marine ecosystem.
What is the Impact of Marine pollution on the Economy?
It is vital to understand the main problems that are leading to marine pollution. They are:
- Plastics are a very durable material that is used for short term time. Plastic items take more than centuries to degrade in the ocean.
- More usage of plastic materials leading to plastic pollution is due to failure in the economic market. The price of manufacturing the things made of plastic does not reflect the disposal cost of that plastic. That cost is often overlooked and passed onto other entities.
According to a study it is seen that marine pollution costs almost 13 billion dollars to the economy each year. This cost does not include the huge price for the transport of the invasive species that gets attached to the plastics in the oceans. Marine plastic pollution has caused a loss of 500 to 2500 billion dollars on the marine ecosystem delivery. This does not even include the loss caused to the shipping and tourism industry and human health.
Facts about the Impact of Marine Pollution on the Economy
There are different types of costs that are incurred in the economy due to marine pollution. Let us have a detailed look at them below.
- The economy of a country, mainly the coastlines suffers a loss due to marine pollution as a cost of cleaning up the beaches, repairing the shipping vessels and fishing gears. They also have to bear costs for medical care for the marine animal and human beings caused due to accidents from marine debris.
- Revenue or output loss is also seen due to contact with marine pollution. For example, the revenue from selling a fish that is never caught due to a net full of debris.
- Loss due to a decline in ecosystem services like recreational activities or aesthetics. These types of economic costs are the hardest to quantify.
- Coastal Municipalities in the UK spend 24 million dollars a year to clean the beaches from the litter. This amount is mostly invested in the labor cost.
- Belgium and the Netherlands spend 13 million dollars every year to remove the litters from the beaches.
- The USA spent 13 dollars/ year on each resident for the cleanup of the beaches and waterway, sweeping of the streets, manual litter cleanup, and anti-littering campaigns to reduce the effects of marine pollution.
- A small province in Sweden spends over 1.5 million dollars annually to clean the beaches. It has a population of only 300000 people.
- Bangkok removes almost 2000 tons of plastic waste from the drainage channels daily to prevent flooding.
- According to a study, it is estimated that due to marine pollution Brazil may see a decrease in tourism by 39% that may incur a loss of up to 8.5 million dollars a year.
- New York and New Jersey have also suffered from the loss of billions of dollars in revenue. The value of the waterfront homes in these areas is also decreased due to pollution.
The global framework of a country’s economy can be strengthened if the challenges of marine pollution are taken into account. It would offer support, coherence, and enforcement for the countries following international standards and equities for controlling the pollution.