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HAMILTON ISLAND, AUSTRALIA  (CBSMiami) — Economists estimate that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is worth a whopping $42.3 billion U.S. dollars.

That’s about 56 billion Australian dollars but have warned that it’s also under duress and needs to be protected.

The new report by Deloitte Access Economics has been commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Deloitte Access Economics’ John O’Mahony told reporters on Hamilton Island on Monday that the report is to help raise awareness about the value of the reef and not to suggest it’s for sale.

He said governments need to do more to ensure the survival of the world heritage site.

Local tourism operators agree.

“We don’t have an industry without the (Great) Barrier Reef being in good condition,” said Col McKenzie, Executive Director of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The report says that the reef’s most serious threat remains from climate change.


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