Ocean economy valued at over 1 billion euro
Marine renewable energy among new growth areas, according to study
There has been a significant fall in activity in established areas such as shipping, maritime transport, marine tourism and marine manufacturing
Ireland’s “ocean economy” has been valued at €1.2 billion in a report published today.
Emerging marine industries have grown, while there has been a significant fall in activity in established areas such as shipping, maritime transport, marine tourism and marine manufacturing, construction and engineering, according to the report by NUI Galway’s socio-economic marine research unit.
The €1.2 billion is an estimate of gross value added in the sector, based on a measure of goods and services produced.
The marine sector had a turnover of €3.5 billion and its direct economic value represented about 0.8 per cent of gross domestic product, according to the most recent figures – for 2010 – analysed by the unit.
It employed about 16,300 people (full-time equivalent) in that year, with expansion in areas such as “high-tech” marine products and services, marine biotechnology, bio-products and marine renewable energy.
A comparative analysis of the sector’s contribution between 2007 and 2010 found turnover fell in sea fisheries, but gross value added increased due to more demand for seafood. Employment also rose in this sector.
Aquaculture also increased turnover and gross value added, while employment fell.
Marine commerce as an emerging sector saw a “significant decrease”, the study says, which was “in line with the general economy and the international financial markets”.
Dr Amaya Vega of the research unit said that the work profiled the ocean economy as a whole, and also by sector.
This would allow monitoring of progress on targets set out in the Government’s plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, published in 2012, she said.