The blue economy in the European Union’s Outermost Regions (Macaronesia, Caribbean-Amazonia and south-western Indian Ocean) is concentrated in few dominant activities that are well developed, such as coastal tourism, which contributes most to employment as well as to GDP among all blue economy activities. In terms of gross value-added, the shipping sector (maritime transport and ports) is also an important contributor, while the exploitation of living resources (fisheries and aquaculture) is a key employer. On the other hand, activities related to ocean energy and blue biotechnology are still in their infancies, but they can be promising for the future.
The authors of the study recognised common drivers for blue growth, such as the regions’ location, climate, landscape and biodiversity. They also identified common barriers, in particular a lack of skilled staff, limited access to private funding, poor coordination of blue economy activities across the different territories, and insufficient research and development.
The European Commission will consult with stakeholders to validate the findings of the study before using them as a basis for developing further actions and for aligning relevant operational and transnational programmes and funding instruments to promote blue growth in the Outermost Regions.