This Study comes after a long series of studies that have attempted to define and measure the blue economy in the EU. These have provided some qualitative information but they largely reinforced what was already known from the first 2009 study – that national statistical organisations are reluctant or unable to provide more detailed information than they already provide to the Commission.
So the Commission has started to make its own calculations based on publicly available data from these reports – primarily Structural Business Statistics (SBS), input-output tables, tourism statistics, the Data Collection Framework for Fisheries and the Labour Force Survey.
This study aimed to cross-check these numbers and provide additional detail from other sources.
The study confirmed that the use of SBS and the NACE classification of activities as the main data source is justified by the fact that NACE offers:
At the same time, the NACE classification does not permit to measure every maritime activity with a sufficient degree of precision, because some economic activities encompass a maritime and a non-maritime dimension alike, and it is extremely difficult to establish how much of them should be apportioned to the blue economy. For this reason, several other sources have been used to complement Eurostat data.
The study was developed through five tasks:
As a general rule, the research team have based their estimations as much as possible on actual figures, trying to avoid assumptions and proxies. Nonetheless, since some sectors are characterised by poor data availability, certain assumptions and proxies were inevitable. They are detailed in an Annex to the Final Report.
Despite the effort put into the study, there remains a number of sectors for which, as of today, no or very few data are available:
Despite some of these sectors are poorly covered, they have been included in the list of maritime activities anyway, in case new data are made available in the future
 Study in the field of maritime policy, “Approach towards an Integrated Maritime Policy Database”, Volume 1: Main Part Study for Eurostat Contract Reference 2007/S 179-218229 – Lot 1