European maritime activities and potential environmental issues

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Table: European maritime activities, their potential environmental issues, estimated economic value, people employed and expected future trends.
CategoryHuman activitiesPotential pressures and
impacts
Gross Value
Added (GVA)
(million Euro)
or turnover
(TO)
EmploymentExpected
future
trend
1: Land-based activities
/industries
Industrial discharges and emissions --- --- ---
Agricultural and forestry run-off and emissions Eutrophication (effects from enrichment by nutrients) 154,289[1] 11,935,000[1] ---
Municipal waste water discharge Eutrophication (effects from enrichment by nutrients) 72 (TO)[2] 600,000[2] ---
2: Extraction of living resources Fisheries incl. recreational fishing (fish and shellfish) Overfishing, disruption of marine food chains, seabed disturbance, pollution from processing plants, marine litter (ingestions & entanglement) 3,400[3] 127,686[3] down
Seaweed and other sea-based food harvesting (bird eggs, shellfish, etc.) Overfishing, disruption of marine food chains, seabed disturbance, pollution from processing plants, marine litter (ingestions & entanglement) --- --- ---
Extraction of genetic resources/bio-prospecting/maerl (blue technology) Uncertain, possible low impacts related to seabed life disturbance or bio-pollution --- --- up
3: Production of living resources Aquaculture (fin-fish and shellfish) Fishmeal consumption (low trophic-level fish), water pollution, escapes of alien species, water filtration (by shellfish) 1,500[4]

80,000[5]
(incl. marine aquatic products)

stable
Marine aquatic products (e.g. growing algae) --- --- up
4: Extraction of non-living resources and disposal Marine mineral and aggregates mining (sand and gravel, rock) Damage to specific seabed habitats (i.e. associated with aggregate deposits), seabed smothering by dredging 625[6] 4,800[6] up
Dredging Damage to specific seabed habitats (i.e. associated with aggregate deposits), seabed smothering by dredging 558[7] 25,000[8] up
Desalination/water abstraction Marine life mortality at seawater intake, impacts of brine outflow 700[9] 7,000[9] up
Extraction of salt --- 7,325[10]
Solid waste disposal incl. dredge material --- --- ---
Storage of gasses (carbon capture and storage) --- --- ---
5: Transport and shipbuilding Freight shipping (d = deep sea shipping, s = short sea sea shipping) Air, noise and water pollution, oil discharges (operational and from accidents), port activities, introduction of alien species, dredging, litter 98,000 (d)
+ 57,000 (s) [11]
1,204,000 (d) + 707,000 (s)[11] up
Passenger ferry services Air, noise and water pollution, oil discharges (operational and from accidents), port activities, introduction of alien species, dredging, litter 20,000[12] 200,000
- 300,000[12]
down
Shipbuilding and ship repair Industrial pollution from shipyard operations 30,000 (TO)[13] 500,000[13] up
6: Tourism and recreation Marine and coastal tourism Plant and soil trampling, wildlife disturbance, removal from nature, littering 183,000[14] 3,200,000[14] up
Recreational activities (e.g. bathing) --- --- up
Yachting and marinas Wildlife disturbance, exhausts from outboard engines, marine litter --- 253,000[15] up
Cruise tourism Discharges from cruise vessels in sea and at port, navigation traffic 14,100[16] 300,000[16] up
7: Man-made structures (incl. construction phase) Land claim, coastal defence & flood and saltwater protection Sand extraction, obstruction of sediment movement, aggravation of coastal erosion in other sites, seabed occupation (high-density hotspots), land requirements for transmission facilities, installation works etc. --- --- up
Port operations Sand extraction, obstruction of sediment movement, aggravation of coastal erosion in other sites, seabed occupation (high-density hotspots), land requirements for transmission facilities, installation works etc. --- 1,500,000 (FTE)[17] up
Placement and operation of offshore structures (other than for energy production) Sand extraction, obstruction of sediment movement, aggravation of coastal erosion in other sites, seabed occupation (high-density hotspots), land requirements for transmission facilities, installation works etc. --- --- up
Submarine cable and pipeline operations Sand extraction, obstruction of sediment movement, aggravation of coastal erosion in other sites, seabed occupation (high-density hotspots), land requirements for transmission facilities, installation works etc. --- ---
Protection of habitats --- --- ---
8: Energy production Marine-based renewable energy generation (wind, wave and tidal power) Claims to land and sea areas, installation works (including noise), visual seascape impact, refuge zone for marine organisms 2,650[18] 36,000 (FTE)[18] up
Marine hydrocarbon (oil and gas) extraction Installation and decommissioning of oil and gas platforms, leaks from drilling works and operation of platforms 100,000
- 135,000[19]
25,000
- 50,000[20]
down
9: Research and survey Marine research Underwater (sonar) noise --- --- up
Survey and monitoring Underwater (sonar) noise --- --- up
10: Military Defence operations Area requirements (navigation signs and shooting ranges), Underwater (sonar) noise) --- ---
Dumping of unwanted munitions War legacy – hazardous substances --- --- down

The table above provides a rough estimate of the potential environmental issues, estimated economic value, people employed and expected future trends based on best available resources. It remains a major challenge to categorize, and therefore determine values for maritime activities. This is because in many instances it is difficult to classify what should be included in an activity or what should be considered marine or coastal. For example, coastal tourism includes aspects such as accommodation and restaurants, but not local transportation (e.g. taxis) which also benefit from tourists. It is also not possible to determine that tourists visit a city or area to be near the sea or coast, as opposed to other attractions such as local heritage, culture or urban characteristics, and in most cases it is likely a combination. Table 1 provides an estimate based on best available resources, but should be considered with caution given the significant uncertainties.

References

[1] EC (2012), Agriculture in the European Union, Statistical and Economic Information Report 2012, European Commission, Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014. Note: Employment is in the agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing sector.

[2] EUREAU (2009), EUREAU Statistics Overview on Water and Wastewater in Europe 2008 (Edition 2009) - Country Profiles and European Statistics, EUREAU, Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[3] STECF (2013), Summary of the 2013 Annual Economic Report on the EU Fishing Fleet (STECF-13-18), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, accessed 3 March 2014.

[4] STECF (2013), The Economic Performance Report on the EU Aquaculture sector (STECF-13-29), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, accessed 3 March 2014.

[5] Ecorys, Deltares and Oceanic Development (2012), Blue Growth Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[6] Ecorys (2012), Blue Growth, Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[7] EC (2011), Study on the economic effects of Maritime Spatial Planning - Final Report, Legal and socio-economic studies in the field of the Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, accessed 3 March 2014.

[8] EUDA (2009), The European Dredging Industry: A Maritime Success Story, accessed 3 March 2014.

[9] Ecorys (2012), Blue Growth, Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[10] EU Salt (2007), ‘EU Salt, Salt Is Life’, Brussels.

[11] Ecorys (2012), Blue Growth, Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[12] Ecorys (2012), Blue Growth, Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[13] CESA (2014), Community of European Shipyards Associations, Brussels, accessed 19 June 2014.

[14] EC (2014), Questions and Answers on the European strategy for coastal and maritime tourism, European Commission - MEMO/14/120 20/02/2014, European Commission, Brussels, accessed March 10, 2014.

[15] Ecorys (2012), Blue Growth, Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[16] Ecorys, Deltares and Oceanic Development (2012), Blue Growth Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[17] ESPO (2014), European Port Performance Dashboard, European Sea Ports Organisation, Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[18] Ecorys, Deltares and Oceanic Development (2012), Blue Growth Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[19] Ecorys, Deltares and Oceanic Development (2012), Blue Growth Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.

[20] Ecorys (2012), Blue Growth, Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Rotterdam/Brussels, accessed 3 March 2014.


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