New report: Maritime businesses account for SEK 160 billion a year in Sweden

Maritime business, ie industries that affect and depend on the marine and coastal environment, have annual business volumes of SEK 160 billion in Sweden according to a new report from the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. The main volume consists of tourism and recreation followed by shipping, ports and ship and boat production.

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Following text is a short translated summary from the press release by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. The full release is available here, in Swedish only.

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, HaV, has given Statistics Sweden, SCB, the task of obtaining data on the economic value of the sea. The report provides a basis for Sweden's efforts to implement the EU's marine environment directive, to develop sea plans for Swedish marine areas and to make comparisons with other EU countries. It is also an important survey for Hav's work on the EU Commission's strategy on blue growth and the Swedish maritime strategy.

"It is difficult to assess the total value of maritime industries, for example, much of the freight traffic by sea consists of non-Swedish flagged vessels. It is also difficult to clearly define which activities are included. But now, at least we have a starting point and statistics so that we can follow developments ahead," says Max Vretborn, investigator at HaV.

The statistics include activities that contribute to goods or services targeted at maritime activities or dependent on the sea. It also includes statistics on holiday homes in coastal areas. According to the report, maritime industries account for approximately 2.2 percent of total net sales in Sweden's business sector.

In total, more than 73,000 people employed in maritime industries, which corresponds to approximately 2.8 percent of the number of employees in Swedish business. There are almost 15,000 companies and the maritime industries represent almost 1.5 percent of total exports of goods (excluding service exports) and about two percent of the total value added in the business sector in Sweden.

"We need to understand the maritime industries better to reach out and have a working dialogue with them. It is an important part of the work of managing our seas and being able to put in action where they make the best use."

The statistics from 2014 also contain information on net sales, number of employees, companies and number of guest nights in hotels and hostels. Nutrition linked to lakes and inland, such as freshwater fishing and inland waterways, are not included in the analysis.

Activities in or relating to the North Sea account for the largest share of the total business volume, followed by the Baltic Proper (the Baltic Sea stretching from the south of Åland to the Danish Straits) and then the Gulf of Bothnia. For Sweden as a whole, maritime tourism, shipping and port operations account for the largest share of the business volume, while professional fishing accounts for only one per cent.