Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report published with latest estimates on the performance of Ireland’s ocean industries

[Source: Marine Institute]

The Marine Institute, in collaboration with the Socio Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) in the University of Galway, has published an update on the performance of Ireland’s Ocean Economy. 

The 2023 Ocean Economy Report provides an update on Ireland’s ocean economy for 2022 across three main economic indicators: turnover, gross value added (GVA) and employment.

The report estimates the annual trends across all sectors as well as commentary on 5-year, 10-year and post-Covid recovery (where evident). The report also provides information on the relative contribution of each marine industry to the ocean economy, an overview of direct and indirect impact of Ireland's ocean economy, and trends since 2010.

This year’s report is accompanied by an online dashboard to enable further dissemination of the data and also encourage further analysis and research.

The 2023 Ocean Economy report shows that Ireland’s ocean economy, in nominal terms:

  • generates over €7 billion in turnover;
  • has a direct economic contribution, as measured by Gross Value Added, of €2.85 billion; and
  • employs approximately 33,500 Full-Time Equivalents.

The Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report series provides a time series of nominal values for ocean economy industries. This year’s report reviews these values to also provide an estimate of ‘real values’ to adjust for inflation. The report shows that nominal and real values for the period 2010 to 2020 are similar and stable due to the low annual rate of inflation. However, from 2020 onwards the difference between the nominal and real values starts to increase due to higher inflation and the significant increase in gas prices in 2021 and 2022 in particular.

Preliminary results from the report were presented at SEMRU’s 13th Annual Marine Economics and Policy Research Symposium, which took place on 13th December 2023 in Galway City. The symposium presented an opportunity for national and international researchers to discuss their research in the area of marine socio-economics and policy. This included topics such as national and regional implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning (UCC), community—led coastal socio-economic development in the Connemara Gaeltacht (QUB), building coastal resilience (University of Galway), challenges to eco-innovation in shipbuilding networks (TCD), and incorporating social and economic data into ecosystem-based management and advice (Marine Institute). 

The audience also heard from the Korea Maritime Institute on the work undertaken to value the Korean Ocean Economy, as well as hearing from the Center for the Blue Economy in California, on the US Government’s recently launched Fifth National Climate Assessment and some of the related socio-economic challenges.

The methodology used to value Ireland’s ocean economy was also presented by the Marine Institute and University of Galway at a recent workshop organised by the OECD as part of their ongoing work on ocean economy measurement, innovation and foresight. Discussions were held with the OECD and other International practitioners from Portugal, US, Korea and Norway on how best to measure the value arising from our oceans, and the challenges in incorporating spatial information, as well as the importance of the inclusion of non-market values to get a more holistic value of our blue economy and the ecosystem services it provides.

The work undertaken to measure Ireland’s ocean economy is being co-funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage through a Service Level Agreement aimed at providing technical and scientific data and evidence to support Marine Spatial Planning in Ireland.

The report and accompanying dashboard is available on the Marine Institute’s website: Ireland's Ocean Economy Dashboard | Marine Institute

Link to Ireland's Ocean Economy Report 2023

For more information, please contact:
Sinéad Coyne, Marine Institute e. m. +353 (0)87 947 7090
Sheila Byrnes, Marine Institute e. m. +353 (0)87 815 5271