Australia’s ocean economy increases by 28%, bigger than agri and coal – report

Australia’s marine industry contributes more than $80 billion annually to the national economy, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and for Industry Development Jonno Duniam said Australia’s marine industry is one of the most important, vital and fastest-growing parts of the Australian economy.

The value of Australia’s marine industry increased by more than a quarter between 2015-16 and 2017-18, and has seen a four-fold increase over the past two decades,” Duniam said in a statement seen on Saturday.

“To put that into perspective, our $81.2 billion blue economy produced more than the agricultural sector ($58.9 billion), coal mining ($69.7 billion) and heavy and civil engineering construction ($68.5 billion) in 2017-18,” he said.

The report found that the total income of the marine industry increased substantially in the two years (by almost 28%), driven by growth in offshore natural gas production (up 79%), shipbuilding and repair (up 57%), and marine tourism (up 11%).

Other marine-based activities include transport, aquaculture and fishing, with the whole marine sector employing nearly 340,000 full time workers.

Chief Executive Officer Dr Paul Hardisty said AIMS’ scientific research contributed to the sustainable productivity of many of marine industries while protecting our oceans.

“Marine-based industries build economic value, create employment, and improve people’s livelihoods,” he said. 

The report acknowledges the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented disruption to the Australian economy which will be measured by the next index due to be published in 2022.

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