The first of its kind, providing a comprehensive assessment of the contribution of marine businesses to the UK economy, the report was researched and written in conjunction with Associated British Ports (ABP) and Oil & Gas UK.
The marine economy contributes nearly £50bn (US$78bn) to the UK’s annual GDP – around 6 to 6.8% of the overall economy. This area of the economy has undergone massive changes in recent years; as old industries such as shipbuilding have declined, others, such as marine renewables, have grown. For example, between 2003 and 2005 the use of marine renewables increased 22% per year.
However, more traditional industries are also thriving in the UK marine economy. Ships are still the main carrier of freight, transporting 426m tonnes each year, compared to just 2.2m tonnes carried by air freight. The UK also relies on oil and gas for three quarters of its primary energy demand; in 2007 oil production from UK offshore areas satisfied our domestic needs while gas produced indigenously met three quarters of the UK’s demand. Indeed the UK was the thirteenth largest oil and gas producer in the world.
“This report is essential reading for anyone looking to understand the importance and value of marine industries to both the UK economy and the environment. In addition, it is a valuable document for anyone who needs to communicate the importance and complexity of reconciling environmental objectives and economic growth,” said Peter Barham, ABP’s sustainable development manager.
The report is available online at www.thecrownestate.co.uk/socio_economic_uk_marine.pdf