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Sustainable Fisheries

The Oceans, Seas and Coastal Areas provide a wealth of opportunities for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and innovation; it is also true that, compared to land-based systems, blue industry is challenged by lack of data, due to the limited availability of sound comparable data, and information for many relevant blue economy activities.

The five editions of the annual European Union Blue Economy Report until 2022, have marked a major step towards a coherent and comprehensive analysis and documentation underpinning the Commission’s efforts to make the best of ocean resources and services, gathering and disseminating data at European level on the industry. This European Commission report is based on a DG MARE-JRC collaboration. In addition to the yearly publication of the Blue Economy Report, the Commission also hosts an interactive platform where stakeholders can consult the latest information and indicators on the Blue Economy – “The Blue Economy Observatory”.

The EU Blue Economy considers all sectoral and cross-sectoral economic activities based on or related to the oceans, seas and coasts: Marine-based activities and Marine-related activities.

In the EU Blue Economy we continue to analyse the scope and size of the Blue Economy in the European Union. We aim at providing support to policymakers and stakeholders in the quest for a sustainable development of oceans, coastal resources and, most notably, to the development and implementation of polices and initiatives under the European Green Deal in line with the new approach for a sustainable Blue Economy.

According to the most recent figures, the established sectors of the EU Blue Economy directly employed close to 4.45 million people and generated around €667.2 billion in turnover and €183.9 billion in gross value added.

For the established sectors, two sectors are particularly noteworthy: (1) the living resources sector, with gross profits valued at €7.2 billion in 2019, saw a 41 % rise on 2009 (€5.1 billion). €121.1 billion, 29 % more than in 2009. And (2) the marine renewable energy sector (mainly offshore wind), which has also experienced growing trends, with employment increasing by 17 % in 2019 (compared to 2018). Since 2009, the two sectors that have seen the largest growing trends in terms of EU Blue Economy’s Gross Value Added (GVA) were Living resources (+31 %) and Shipbuilding and repair (+39 %).

The 2022 EU Blue Economy Report continues to provide a perspective on the impacts that several factors have on the Blue Economy, including global environmental challenges like climate change, ongoing geo-political changes and their implications on maritime security and surveillance, increasing energy and commodity prices, evolving governance frameworks such as Maritime Spatial Planning or those originating from the ‘Fit for 55’ package, and innovative technological solutions that emerge from research & development. This edition also analyses the post COVID-19 impacts on the various sectors, as well as the effects of the mitigation measures put in place, such as the EU Recovery fund. It includes as well some initial reflections on the potential impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on some of the Blue Economy sectors. This years’ report also comprises an assessment of the impact of rising sea levels on MSs’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


Further reads:

  • latest annual European Union Blue Economy Report [here]
  • EU Blue Economy Observatory [here]
  • more detailed and specific numbers, see the data dashboards in the Blue Economy Observatory [here]