The Blue Economy

The European Parliaments overview over the EUs political frames and initiatives within the Blue Economy. It contains topics such as sustainable marine management, climate and environment, research and knowledge about the sea, maritime intelligence and security. The coastal protection and naval defense sectors are not included.

The overview shows that the blue economy, which includes all economic activities related to the sea, directly employs over 4 million people in the EU and accounts for 1.3% of the EU's GDP. Established sectors in the blue economy, including fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, maritime transport, port activities, shipbuilding and marine oil and gas extraction, generated gross value of € 180 billion in 2017, an increase of 8% compared to 2009.

It is emphasized that the traditional sectors in the shipbuilding industry and the offshore oil and gas industry are in decline, while the offshore wind industry can be considered a well-established sector. Other promising sectors include marine energy and 'blue' biotechnology.

The blue growth strategy focuses on five sectors within the blue economy: coastal tourism, aquaculture, blue energy, blue biotechnology and seabed mining. Coastal tourism, by far the largest sector, both in terms of jobs and value added, continues to grow, but also poses challenges for the environment and local communities. In the blue energy sectors, the EU is a global leader in both offshore wind and offshore energy. However, the EU lags behind in aquaculture and blue biotechnology, partly as a result of administrative complexity, lack of transparency in licenses, difficulties in accessing space and water, and the high quality, health and environmental standards that are maintained.

Commercial mining of the seabed has been temporarily halted in European sea regions until all effects have been adequately studied, and all potential environmental and climate consequences have been presented for such marine management. This also applies to other sectors of the blue economy in Europe. The European Parliament has further emphasized the importance of innovation for all sectors in blue growth.

Find the overview here

By Stig Kristian …