The share of the blue economy in the European Union (all activities linked to the oceans, seas and coastal areas) is constantly increasing according to the EU’s first annual report on the matter, published in June 2018 by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). The Commission notes that the turnover of the Europe’s blue economy was 566.2 billion euros in 2016, employing around 3.5 million people (1.6% of all employment in the EU) and generating a gross added value of 174 billion euros a year.
This was the first report of its kind, and its goal is to provide a range of economic data in order to improve the creation of public policies, support academic research and increase investment. Prepared by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre and DG MARE, the document reports on growth in the six traditional sectors of the blue economy: the harvesting and sale of living marine resources, the offshore extraction of oil and natural gas, maritime transport, the activity of ports, shipbuilding and coastal tourism.
The report also considers the five sectors of innovation: blue energy (wind and marine power), aquaculture, coastal and maritime tourism, blue biotechnologies and the extraction and harvesting of resources on the seabed.