Objectives of the report

The maritime economy is made up of the activities related to the sea, i.e. related to:

  • Marine resource extraction (living, mineral and energy resources),
  • The exploitation of sea spaces and of the physical properties of sea waters and floors (renewable energies and nuclear power plants, submarine cable laying, maritime and coastal facility construction, maritime transport, Navy),
  • The exploitation of remarkable natural assets in marine and coastal zones (tourism, leisure and boating),
  • The biological resource (seafood and seaweed) processing industry,
  • The upstream sectors providing manufactured products and services to the above sea exploiting activities: e.g. shipbuilding, ship repair, boat building, offshore energy services, and financial services to maritime transport and to boating,
  • Public services: defence, public services to maritime activities and to seafarers, marine and coastal environment protection, marine science and operational oceanography.

The "French Marine Economic Data" report, published by Ifremer, gathers a set of sector-related indicators enabling to value the economic weight of the French maritime activities as part of the national economy, their performance in international competition, and the role of non-market public services. The maritime sectors are described at national scale. However regional indicators are provided on the sectors for which they are relevant and available. In addition we endeavour to improve the assessment of the European dimension of maritime activities.

The scope of the maritime economy is discussed. It often depends on the specificities of national economies. As described in the Ifremer reports, it has evolved since the earliest updates and now includes inland navigation. Conversely some sectors are no longer included because of the lack of quantitative data; for instance, marine salt production, maritime press or maritime banking services. On the basis of the above listed categories, the scope includes the following sectors:

Industrial sectors
  • Seafood industry: maritime fisheries, aquaculture, seafood trade, seaweed exploitation and processing, seafood processing
  • Sand and gravel extraction
  • Energy production: onshore electricity plants, marine renewable energy
  • Shipbuilding and repair: merchant and military ship building, marine equipment, ship repair, boat building
  • Maritime and river civil engineering
  • Submarine cable manufacturing, laying and maintenance
  • Offshore oil and gas services
  • Coastal tourism
  • Maritime and river transport: maritime and river port services, maritime transport, inland navigation
  • Maritime insurance.
Non-market public services
  • Navy
  • Public intervention in the maritime domain: signalling, security and safety, seafarer training, social protection
  • Coastal and marine environment protection
  • Marine science.

Indicators and sources

The economic indicators used for analysing the maritime activities are sector-related indicators such as turnover, value added, employment, number of enterprises, export rates. Public services are described by budget indicators, staff numbers and staff cost related to the different kinds of services.

  • The sector-related indicators provided by the National Statistics Institute (INSEE), based on the French classification of economic activities (NAF), constitute a set of statistical data which are essential for assessing these industries. The NAF provides a sector-based breakdown of the maritime activities without double accounts, and enables to make international benchmarking as it complies with the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE).
  • The satellite accounts, such as those of transport, tourism and environment, are also useful data sources.
  • But the assessment of certain sectors also requires resorting to sources from industry association and from certain enterprises.
  • Most of the indicators used for international benchmarking are sourced from Eurostat and industry association.
  • For public services, the collection of data and qualitative information benefits from the very helpful co-operation of administrative services (especially the Directorate of Maritime Affairs and the Directorate of Transport Facilities) and of marine science labs and agencies.

In each chapter of the report, the indicators are presented as time series over the recent past years. However, given the lag in having these statistical series accessible, an update of the entire set of maritime economic data is available for year n-2 when the report is released in the end of year n.

More importantly, a difficulty encountered by all country reports on maritime economy assessment is that many maritime sectors are not specifically reported in national account statistical systems: the are parts of larger sectors (e.g. electric cable manufacturing, oil and gas services, tourism), and the goal is to assess the maritime part of these. This assessment necessarily requires resorting to estimates. By nature, these are subject to criticism, and we seek to improve their reliability by using business sourced data. The objective of the periodical updates is to improve the quality and the traceability of indicators.