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$48 billion marine industries worth more than agriculture

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08 December 2009

Australia's $48 billion marine industries are worth more to the nation than agriculture, according to analysis released today.

Launched by the Chairman of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Council, Dr Ian Gould, the AIMS Index of Marine Industry valued Australia's marine industries for 2007-08 at $48.4 billion compared to $43.3 billion for the agricultural sector in the same period.

Dr Gould said: "The analysis shows Australia's marine industries make a major contribution to the economy. However this contribution is often unrecognised and undervalued - the aim of the marine index is to redress that.

"The first marine index was launched last year, and already the data shows a dramatic jump in the value of marine industries, up from $38 billion in 2006-07 to $48.4 billion in 2007-08."

Australia's marine industries include oil and gas exploration and extraction, tourism, fishing, boatbuilding, shipping, ports and numerous others.

AIMS CEO Dr Ian Poiner said "Australia is a marine nation. We lay claim to the third largest marine jurisdiction on Earth. Eighty-five percent of us live within 50km of the coast and two-thirds of us make our homes in coastal towns and cities.

"That's why it is no surprise our marine industries make an important economic, social and environmental contribution to the nation."

The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr commended the launch of the index.

"The marine industry sector is strong but will become stronger, particularly if growth is based on rigorous scientific research and environmentally sustainable practices," Senator Carr said.

The AIMS Index of Marine Industry is updated annually.

A breakdown of the worth of various parts of the industry includes:

  • Domestic tourism, $15,970 m
  • Commercial fishing (wild capture), $1363 m
  • Marine-based aquaculture $782 m
  • Oil exploration, $2541 m
  • Oil production, $12,123 m

Media contacts:

Dr Ian Poiner, AIMS CEO, 0419 702 652;
Patrick Pantano, Minister's Office 0417 181 936
Wendy Ellery, AIMS media liaison, 0418 729 265;

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