Minister Charlie McConalogue with the latest report on the performance of Ireland’s Ocean Economy
The Marine Institute in partnership with the University of Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) has released the latest update on the performance of Ireland’s Ocean Economy.
The report provides an update on Ireland’s ocean economy across three main economic indicators: turnover, gross value added (GVA) and employment, and provides an analysis of trends over the last five years.
The update shows that Ireland’s ocean economy in 2021 had a turnover of €4.98 billion, with a direct economic contribution, as measured by GVA, of €2.1 billion. Taking into account indirect GVA generated from ocean related activity in Ireland total GVA is €3.8bn, representing 1.6% of national output. Brexit effects on trade and fisheries as well as the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on marine tourism and the international cruise industry meant a significant reduction in ocean economy output value in 2020.
Commenting on the results, co-author Prof Stephen Hynes, Director of SEMRU at the University of Galway stated, “The latest figures demonstrate that it has been a very turbulent period for Ireland’s ocean economy in the two years since the publication of the last report in the series. Against the backdrop of the immense challenges that have faced the sector we have seen a rebound in terms of output and employment in 2021. It continues to be a period of transition for Ireland’s ocean economy as the marine industries innovate in the face of new policies and measures aimed at dealing with the impacts of the climate and biodiversity crises.”
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, said, “I am delighted to receive this latest SEMRU (University of Galway) and Marine Institute report on Ireland’s Ocean Economy, which provides such useful data on the value of our marine industries and sectors. The marine sector and the employment it provides in crucial areas such as Ireland’s fisheries and seafood sector, under my own area of Ministerial responsibility, are crucially important contributors in maintaining the viability of our coastal communities. This interesting and timely report demonstrates that the marine sector as a whole has experienced significant challenges over recent years in common with international trends but is now slowly recovering. It will be particularly interesting to see if the current trends continue into 2023 and future years. We look forward to the next report and hopefully to a resurgent and vibrant marine sector both here in Ireland and internationally.”
The report also reviews demographic change in Ireland’s coastal economy, as well as highlighting developments in marine natural capital accounting. Natural capital accounting/ecosystem accounting views nature and ecosystems as assets, which provide a stream of ecosystem service benefits to society. The report highlights the importance of healthy marine ecosystem services to the ocean economy industries and Irish society more widely. In doing so it discusses the latest advancements in ocean environmental and economic accounting and how the Marine Institute and the University of Galway, in partnership with the CSO, are in the process of developing such accounts for Ireland.
Welcoming the report, Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute said, “The ever-growing demand for more integrated advice and services has seen an increasing demand for economic data and evidence that will support the state’s governance of our maritime area. This work, carried out in partnership with University of Galway, and other state organisations such as the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), is delivering a robust analytical framework to inform marine and maritime policies and planning, delivering a more equitable and sustainable ocean and coastal economies.”