News

Scotland's Marine Economic Statistics

Published: 10 Oct 2019 09:30

An experimental statistics publication from the Scottish Government.

In 2017 the Scottish marine economy generated £5.2 billion Gross Value Added (GVA), up 18% from the 2016 value, and employed 74,500 people – down 2%. 

The statistics present a time series of GVA, turnover and employment for industrial categories defined as part of the marine economy.  The data is provided for 2008 to 2017. 

The statistics provide a detailed picture of trends and geographic distribution of the contributions of marine economic sectors.  They are largely based on data from the Scottish Annual Business Survey, supplemented by separate fishing and aquaculture data. The statistics found:

  • Between 2016 and 2017 the Scottish marine sector GVA increased by 18% from £4.41 billion in 2016 to £5.22 billion in 2017 (adjusted to 2017 prices).  Several sectors contributed to this increase including Aquaculture, which doubled GVA contribution from £221 million to £436 million and Shipbuilding which almost trebled from £209 million to £572 million.  GVA from other industry sectors also increased. 
  • Between 2016 and 2017 employment in the Scottish marine sector fell by 2% from 76,000 to 74,500 (headcount).  This fall was mainly driven by a drop in employment in the oil and gas support sector, from 19,700 to 17,800.   
  • Support services for the oil and gas sector were the biggest contributor to the marine economy in terms of GVA (£2.2 billion, 42% of the marine economy).  Note that oil and gas extraction is not included in these figures to align with those provided by the onshore values in the National Accounts for Scotland.
  • Marine tourism was the biggest contributor to employment in 2017, contributing 38% of the employment (28,300 headcount) and 11% of the GVA (£594 million). 
  • Geographically, Aberdeen City accounted for 39% of the marine economy’s GVA for 2017, with Aberdeenshire the next highest with 18%. This highlights a strong concentration of the marine economy in the North East of Scotland, linked to the location of oil and gas services, commercial fishing and fish processing industries.    

All of the statistics presented relate only to the direct economic contributions of the sectors to Scotland’s economy and not to the indirect contributions that arise from their wider supply chains. 

The report is based on regularly available, validated economic sources.  After the first edition users were consulted for their views on the content and format of the publication.  While they were broadly very happy with the publication, there were other sectors that contribute to the marine economy, such as offshore renewable energy, that they would have liked to see.  Marine Scotland is exploring how to include marine renewable energy and other industries in future publications.

Background
The full statistical publication contains economic statistics on industries classified as part of the marine economy.  It helps to establish the value of the marine economy to Scotland.  Most of the staistics are sourced from the Scottish Annual Business Statistics 2017 published in June 2019, supplemented by Marine Scotland statistics on sea fisheries and aquaculture and the Seafish Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet

The figures released are classed as Experimental Statistics though they were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.