Specifically, the Blue Economy Report focuses on the size of the Blue Economy in the EU, also examining not only established sectors, but also emerging ones, as those for which reliable data are emerging, and innovative sectors that provide Blue Economy with new opportunities for investment and hold huge opportunities for the future development of coastal communities.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, instrumental in drafting the Blue Economy Report reported
The second Report on the European Blue Economy reflects the importance that the European Commission attaches to a robust, evidence-based approach. Our oceans and seas can help us in tackling the challenges facing humanity; creating prosperity without endangering that of future generations.
The Second Edition of the report, has additional improvements and new elements, as such:
- Inclusion of additional maritime sub-sectors and activities such as marine equipment and machinery (in Shipbuilding and repair) and prepared seafood meals and manufacture of seafood oils and fats (in Marine living resources), and a maritime defence.
- A more detailed and extensive analysis on emerging activities (desalinisation, blue (renewable) energy and blue bio economy).
- A new chapter on natural capital and ecosystem services, which also includes an analysis on the impact of climate change and the costs of mitigating measures, as well as the costs of ocean litter.
- New case studies on marine protected areas, ocean observation, indirect employment generated by the Blue Economy and the role of the EIB in supporting investment in the Blue Economy.
- A regional analysis offering an overview of the main socioeconomic features of the various EU sea basins and examples of smart specialisation.
Moreover, the Blue Economy established sectors, also, include:
- Marine living resources
- Marine extraction of non-living resources
- Maritime transport
- Port activities
- Shipbuilding and repair
- Coastal tourism.
The above sectors are analysed based on data that the European Commission has gathered through Member States and the European System of Statistics.
The second edition consists of an overview of the EU sea basins.
Almost 45% of the EU population (214 million people) live in coastal regions. Coastal regions in Northern countries (Atlantic and North Sea) tend to have a higher GDP per capita than Southern regions (Mediterranean and Black Sea). Since 2014 and as part of the EU Cohesion Policy, Smart Specialisation was created, as an innovative place-based policy approach that aims to boost growth and jobs at regional, national and European levels by identifying and developing competitive advantages in innovation niches.
Success stories in the Blue Economy can be an example for other regions in the EU. These include marine biotechnology in Brittany (France), tourism, health services, wind energy, fish farming and boat building in Ida-Viru (Estonia), and maritime technologies, specialised ship construction, offshore energy, and maritime biotechnology and production facilities in Schleswig-Holstein (Germany).
Moreover the report provides an insight into coastal tourism, extraction and commercialisation of marine living resources, marine extraction of minerals, oil and gas, ports, warehousing and water projects, shipbuilding and repair, and maritime transport. The report presents the current status and recent trends concerning these categories.
Meanwhile, the European Commission also focused on emerging sectors, such as blue energy, blue bio-economy, marine minerals, desalination and maritime defence.
The report focuses on the advantages Blue Economy has on the coastal tourism, as it consists of various activities. Overall, Coastal tourism accounted for 54% of the jobs, 36% of the GVA and 32% of the profits in the total EU Blue Economy in 2017. The report highlights that the sector has grown substantially over the analysed period.
Concluding, commissioner Vella commented
Today’s report confirms the blue economy’s role as an exciting growth sector, with opportunities both in established sectors like tourism and shipbuilding, and in emerging areas like ocean energy or the blue bio-economy. Yet we also know that blue economy start-ups and small companies often struggle to get their good ideas off the ground.
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