European Blue economy Report for 2023 is out : A brief

The European Blue Economy report serves as a vital guide for policymakers and stakeholders navigating the intricacies of the European blue economy. The 2023 edition of the report spotlights the progress made in blue economy sectors since 2010, even amidst challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and the unexpected Russian incursion into Ukraine. Surprisingly, most analyzed sectors showcased robust economic growth during this period.

For instance, between 2010 and 2020, remarkable growth was observed in key economic performance indicators for various sectors:

Living resources: +25%

Port activities: +25%

Offshore wind energy: +1762%

Shipbuilding and repair: +22%

Beyond these impressive statistics, the blue economy is generating fresh employment prospects. Employment within the studied sectors has surged, with the offshore wind energy domain experiencing an astounding 20-fold increase in workforce over a decade.

Offering a glimpse into the report, the well-established sectors of the EU blue economy, including marine living resources, marine renewable energy, port activities, shipbuilding and repair, maritime transport, non-living marine resources, and coastal tourism, collectively contributed €129 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2020. These sectors yielded a profit of €43.6 billion and achieved a remarkable turnover of €523 billion.

Among the rising sectors, the algae domain stands out as a dynamic sub-sector in blue biotechnology. Algae production has generated substantial annual turnover, particularly in countries like France, Spain, and Portugal, which boast significant production facilities.

In addition to insights into established and emergent sectors, the 2023 version dedicates a section to the Energy Transition in the Blue Economy. This component aligns with the EU's energy transition goals for the fisheries and aquaculture sector, and it heralds a series of analyses that will support the Energy Transition Partnership on EU Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The report also introduces a new chapter on Climate Change and Coastal Impact, underscoring the potential ramifications of climate change on coastal areas due to rising sea levels, heightened storm frequency, coastal flooding, and erosion. A tool developed by the Commission's Joint Research Centre, LISCoAsT (Large scale Integrated Sea-level and Coastal Assessment Tool), gauges these impacts and their influence on ecosystem services along the EU27 coastline.

Notably, the 2023 edition boasts a refreshed appearance and format, designed for enhanced information delivery. Going forward, the report will integrate with the broader EU Blue Economy Observatory, providing more frequent and dynamic updates on blue economy data.

This annual flagship publication by the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission presents a comprehensive analysis of the breadth and significance of the blue economy. Encompassing a wide range of activities tied to oceans, seas, and coasts, such as fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, shipping, ports, offshore renewable energy, and biotechnology, the blue economy continues to evolve and thrive.

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