Scotland's Marine Economic Statistics 2021

Statistics on the economic contributions of Scotland’s marine sectors in 2021. Includes a time series of Gross Value Added (GVA), turnover and employment for marine sectors. The supporting documents include: additional tables in an excel file and a pdf version of the publication

Sea and coastal water transport

This sector includes both passenger and freight water transport. Inland water transport is not included. Sea and coastal water transport is an essential part of Scotland's transport network. It is key for connectivity and supports island and mainland communities. Travel in Scotland in 2020 was significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Scottish Annual Business Statistics provides the economic and employment data. See Data and Methodology for more information.

Supplementary information comes from the Scottish Transport Statistics publication, and the Department of Transport statistics.

Passenger water transport: key points

In 2021, passenger water transport generated £89 million in GVA, 0.06% of Scottish and 2% of marine economy GVA. Passenger water transport employed 1,200 people, 0.05% of Scottish employment and 2% of marine economy employment.

From 2020 to 2021, the GVA from passenger water transport increased by 51%. The longer term GVA trend fluctuated by year, but fell by 19% from 2012 to 2021. From 2012 to 2021, employment decreased by 20%.

Transport Scotland report passenger journeys by operator rather than location. In 2021, around 52% of the passenger journeys were on the Caledonian MacBrayne services in the West of Scotland. These services travel between the mainland of Scotland and 22 of the major islands on Scotland's west coast.

Freight water transport: key points

In 2021, freight water transport generated £157 million GVA, 0.1% of Scottish and 3% of marine economy GVA. Freight water transport employed 400 people, 0.02% of Scottish employment and 1% of marine economy employment.

From 2020 to 2021, freight water transport GVA increased by 118%. In the longer term, from 2012 to 2021, GVA fell by 8%. This is a small sector so the figures can fluctuate from one year to the next.

Transport Scotland report by freight traffic by port. The highest freight traffic in 2021 was through Forth ports. This accounted for 36% of tonnage through the top 11 ports.



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