While the economic crisis takes a toll, growth persists

The European Blue Economy Report is an essential tool that guides decision makers and stakeholders in the European Union’s Blue Economy. The upcoming edition, set to be released in 2023, will focus on the evolution of the sector since 2010. Despite the negative impact of the Blue Economy, most of the sectors analyzed have seen significant improvements in their economic performance due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The report highlights that between 2010 and 2020, several sectors have reported an increase in gross value added, which is a critical economic performance indicator. For instance, Biological Resources and Port Activities have seen a growth of 25%, whereas Offshore Wind Energy has witnessed a staggering increase of 1762%. Shipbuilding and Repair have also experienced a 22% rise in their economic performance. The report further emphasizes that the Blue Economy sector provides new employment opportunities, with the offshore wind energy sector observing a 20-fold increase in employment within ten years.

In 2020, the established sectors of the EU Blue Economy are expected to generate €129 billion, resulting in a profit of €43.6 billion. Among the emerging subsectors, the algae sector has emerged as one of the most dynamic areas in Blue Biotechnology, generating an annual turnover of over €10 million in the countries with the most production facilities.

The 2023 edition of the report includes a chapter on energy transitions in the Blue Economy, which follows the Commission’s report on the energy transition of the EU’s fisheries and aquaculture sector. The report also features a section on climate change and coastal impacts, exploring the significance of sea-level rise, changes in storm frequency, and coastal flooding and erosion on EU coasts. This section will provide the latest findings of the European Commission’s Collaborative Research Center.

The EU Blue Economy Report returns in 2023 in a more concise format that will be connected and incorporated into the broader EU Blue Economy Watchdog. The report offers an in-depth analysis of the Blue Economy’s scope and scale, encompassing economic activities based on or related to oceans, seas, and coasts, such as fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, shipping and ports, marine renewable energy, and biotechnology.

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