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AIMS Index values marine industries at $38 billion and rising fast

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25 November 2008

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research says a new Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Index of Marine Industry estimates the value of Australian marine industries at $38 billion a year.

The Index quantifies the value of Australia's marine industries for the first time and is based on an analysis commissioned by AIMS from consulting company Deloitte.

"The industries' cumulative role in Australia's economy is huge and growing rapidly, but it has gone largely unrecognised until now," Senator Carr said releasing the Index.

"This analysis commissioned by AIMS provides a conservative estimate of current annual value of over $38 billion, while trend data confirms the sector has grown by 42 per cent since 2000-01.

"The Index includes industries ranging from offshore resources such as oil and gas to recreational fishing and boating and tourism.

"It provides a framework to consider how marine industry and marine science fit with the national innovation agenda, particularly following the release of the Review of the National Innovation System in August this year.

"It shows that the marine industry sector is vibrant, growing and indispensable to creating a new, innovative future for this country. While the sector is a strong part of the economy it will become stronger, particularly if its growth has a firm scientific basis and is based on ecologically sustainable principles."

Senator Carr said the Index would be updated annually.

"Creation of this Index is an important development in efforts to remove barriers to maximising growth in this field and responds to a new resolve to take a co-ordinated, integrated approach to growth," Senator Carr said.

"In particular, barriers to the sector's development include the fragmented nature of marine industries and the spread of political and administrative responsibilities across all levels of government.

Senator Carr said as yet the Index had not included some activities with non-tangible benefits such as social and environmental values. Establishing a consistent definition for marine industries would boost data collection about all marine-related activities and allow these less tangible activities to be evaluated in the future.

Among the range of values for 2006-07, are:

  • Domestic tourism, $11,611.2 million
  • Commercial fishing (wild capture), $1,429.3 million
  • Marine-based aquaculture, $666.2 million
  • Oil exploration, $1,727.3 million
  • Oil production, $9,230.0 million

AIMS research underpins public policy concerning Australia's tropical marine domain. AIMS has identified marine industry as a growth sector that is of growing importance to the national economy.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Ian Poiner

Mobile:0419 702 652

Ms Liz Tynan

Mobile: 0419 668 497

Media contact: Catriona Jackson, Minister's Office, 0417 142 238


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