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Prof Horton on Channel NewsAsia: Sustainable oceans can boost “blue economy”
With the ocean sustainability conference Our Ocean 2018 taking place in Bali, Indonesia this week, Channel NewsAsia invited Professor Benjamin Horton to their morning show to talk ocean sustainability. Prof Horton explained that the Our Oceans initiative has been successful in raising funding, creating international collaborations and protecting ocean ecosystems during the four years since it started, but more needs to be done e.g. in terms of protection of oceans and coastal areas.
When asked about environmental awareness in Southeast Asia Prof Horton said that there has been a positive shift in attitudes over the past years regarding environmental problems in Asia. He also pointed out that preserving our oceans is not all sacrifice, in fact more sustainable ocean can be a vehicle for improved economy, particularly for low- and middle developed countries. The so called “blue economy” contributes billions of dollars to the world economy every year, and the number is increasing. There are opportunities in aquaculture, green technology, renewable energy and enhanced tourism, but they are only achievable with sustainable oceans. The overarching global threat to the oceans remain global warming, resulting in and sea level rise, acidification and coral bleaching. Coral death due to bleaching is major problem for the fishing industry since they function as fish nurseries.