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Australia’s burgeoning ‘blue economy’

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17 March 2017

Now available, the Australian Institute of Marine Science’s AIMS Index of Marine Industry 2016 reports sustained economic growth of the ‘blue economy,’ or the Australian marine industries sector, far exceeding that of the national economy. According to the latest figures, the blue economy has more than doubled in the last ten years – with marine industries now contributing more than $74 billion directly and indirectly to annual national gross domestic product – and growth is projected to continue.

The AIMS Index of Marine Industry was developed to provide a biennial update of the economic value of Australia’s marine environment. Now in its sixth edition, the AIMS Index follows a considered approach to reliably estimating the economic contribution of the Australian marine industry.


Australia’s marine industries contributed $74.2 billion to the national economy in 2013-14, accounting for 4.8 percent of national Gross Domestic Product and directly and indirectly providing almost 400,000 jobs. Image: Steve Clarke © AIMS

“The AIMS Index of Marine Industry provides crucial information for decision-makers, and is one of the many tools that enable us, as an organisation, to effectively target the focus of our research,” said AIMS’ CEO, John Gunn.

The most recent findings of the AIMS Index suggest that the energy resources industries – including petroleum, LPG, and LNG – make up a significant portion of marine-based economic activity. A steady increase in economic contribution by the marine tourism and recreation sub-sectors also influenced the calculated growth.

Capturing the full value that Australia’s oceans provide is critical for appropriate decision-making. The Australian Institute of Marine Science’s mission is to provide the research and knowledge of Australia’s tropical marine estate required to support growth in its use, effective environmental management and protection of its unique ecosystems.

Click here to read the Minister's announcement.