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Justin Hunter: Why Looking After Our Oceans Is Good Business

It is the individual consumers who drive change, he adds. The “ethical consumer” is probably the fastest growing segment in luxury and lots of other consumables, meaning consumers now seek
30 May 2017 11:00
Justin Hunter: Why Looking After Our Oceans Is Good Business
Pearl farming relies on a pristine marine environment, global warming, ocean acidification if unchecked will not only spell the end of businesses like pearls. Photo: J Hunter Pearls Fiji

It is the individual consumers who drive change, he adds.

The “ethical consumer” is probably the fastest growing segment in luxury and lots of other consumables, meaning consumers now seek consumables sourced from a sustainable source and does not harm the environment, says renowned pearl maker Justin Hunter of J Hunter Pearls Fiji.

And, with the emergence of ethical consumers, the onus now falls on the private sector to do right by the environment.

Mr Hunter will be part of the Fijian delegation to New York, USA, for the United Nations Ocean Conference from June 5 to 9.

 

Pearl farming relies on pristine marine environment, global warming, ocean acidification if unchecked will not only spell he end of businesses like pearls. PHOTO: J hunter Pearls Fiji

Pearl farming relies on pristine marine environment, global warming, ocean acidification if unchecked will not only spell he end of businesses like pearls. PHOTO: J Hunter Pearls Fiji

Fiji is co-hosting the conference with Sweden and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will lead the delegation as he heads to the conference to co-preside.

From this conference, Mr Hunter hopes from awareness on how countries like ours are really on the “front lines” of this battle against climate change.

“Private sector needs to understand what the “new” consumers want and start working on products that represent this concept. These are not just products but it is Destination Fiji, Brand Fiji…. The oceans conference is going to become more and more important – I think Fiji is taking it to another level, but it will go higher.”

And, as the conference and its impacts grow, the role private sector and individuals play in sustaining our environment becomes more critical.

“Each individual needs to know that they make choice’s every day, – those choices’ will have an impact on how business’s evolve, it is the choices of the consumers, that gets the world to change.

“If we all say we are not going to accept single-use plastic bags – you will see alternatives in the market place tomorrow. It is the individual consumers who drive change,” Mr Hunter said.

Pearl farming relies on a pristine marine environment, global warming, ocean acidification if unchecked will not only spell the end of businesses like pearls, it really would signal the beginning of a cataclysmic collapse in our marine environment.

“Pearl farming is often described as ecological aquaculture and requires pristine water conditions to live and in order for the oysters to produce the highest quality pearls. The Fijian Pearl oyster is classified as an “indicator species” and is well known to be environmentally sensitive.

“This is due to its nature of filter feeding, meaning any decline in water quality has a direct impact on the oysters’ health consequently resulting in a lesser quality of Fiji Pearl being produced or death of the oyster.

“And let’s face it – our entire economy, at some stage is based on our marine environment.”

 

 

The Fijian pearl oyster is classified as an "indicator species" and is well known to be environmentally sensitive. Photo: J Hunter Pearls FIJI

The Fijian pearl oyster is classified as an “indicator species” and is well known to be environmentally sensitive. Photo: J Hunter Pearls FIJH

 

 

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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