Photo: Cezary Korkosz

Economic and social indicators describe how the current use of marine waters contributes to national and regional economies. HELCOM has collated comparable data for five human activities and carried out a regional-scale assessment of the economic benefits of the use of the sea. The results show a significant contribution to the economy from the use of the marine environment.

Fish and shellfish harvesting

Fish and shellfish harvesting is a sector involved in the extraction of living resources. The socio-economic data describes commercial small-scale and large-scale fleet fishing which takes place within the Baltic Sea waters. Small-scale fleet uses vessels shorter than 12 meters, while large-scale fleet includes vessels larger than 12 meters. The data originates from the 2016 Annual Economic Report on the EU Fishing Fleet (STECF 2016a), for all countries except Russia. Due to the reduced number of vessels and/or enterprises in Germany and the Baltic States, data which are considered sensitive (on distant-water fleets) were not delivered to STECF. This has an impact on the regional level analysis.

The number of active vessels in the Baltic Sea was estimated at 6 500 in 2014, and 6 256 in 2013 (STECF 2015). The Finnish fleet was the largest (1 764 vessels). Among the EU Member States, Estonian, Finnish and Latvian marine fisheries are fully dependent on the Baltic Sea region, while other EU Member States vessels operate also in other marine fishing regions. Only vessels operational in the Baltic Sea are included in the statistics (Figures 3.4 and 3.5). The value of landings in the Baltic Sea region was in total 218 million euros in 2014, compared to the 260 million euros in 2012. The highest total values for fish and shellfish landed by national fleets from the Baltic Sea waters were by the Polish, Swedish and Finnish fleets, and the lowest total values by the Estonian and Lithuanian fleets. The value of landings is similar in size to the value of estimated revenue.

The gross value added for the Baltic Sea area was in total 95 million euros in 2014 compared to 121 million euros in 2012. The highest values were for Sweden and Poland, and the lowest values for Lithuania and Germany. In terms of employment, the commercial fishing sector related to the Baltic Sea waters employs an estimated total of 9 450 people. It should be noted that the full-time equivalent employment is almost half of this number (5 076), as the full-time equivalent estimates are different from the number of persons employed in all countries other than Poland. Poland, Estonia and Finland have a clearly higher number of persons employed in their fleets operating in the Baltic Sea region, compared to the other countries. There is employment also in related sectors, such as fish and shellfish processing, but this is not covered in Figure 3.5. The spatial distribution of fish harvesting in the Baltic Sea is illustrated in Figure 3.6 by the spatial distribution of commercial landings of cod, herring and sprat.

Figure 3.4. Economic indicators related to fish and shellfish harvesting

Figure 3.4. Economic indicators related to fish and shellfish harvesting (data from the year 2014). Source: Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF 2016a). All monetary values have been adjusted for inflation; constant prices (2015). STECF does not report on Russia.

Figure 3.5. Employment in fish and shellfish harvesting

Figure 3.5. Employment in fish and shellfish harvesting (data from the year 2014). Source: Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF 2016a). All monetary values have been adjusted for inflation; constant prices (2015). STECF does not report on Russia.

Figure 3.6. Spatial distribution of commercial landings of cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic Sea.

Marine aquaculture

Marine aquaculture is a sector involved in the cultivation of living resources in the marine environment. Economic impacts from aquaculture are presented only for Finland, Denmark and Sweden (STECF 2016b, Statistics Sweden 2017). There is one finfish and one shellfish farm in the German waters of the Baltic Sea, but the production volumes and other types of economic data are confidential, and thus there is information only on the location of the farms. For all the other countries, the production is assumed to be zero (and thus the turnover, gross value added and employment), based on the national production and sales data reported to the European Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). Shellfish aquaculture is not included in the figures. Of the Baltic Sea countries, Denmark, Germany and Sweden are involved in shellfish aquaculture, but it has a lower significance in the Baltic Sea than finfish aquaculture. For example, Denmark produces blue mussels in the Baltic Sea with an annual turnover of 1.3 million euros.

Marine finfish aquaculture had a total turnover of 79 million euros in 2014, divided mainly between Finland and Denmark (Figure 3.7). The whole value for Denmark, Finland and Sweden can be attributed to the Baltic Sea. In Denmark, marine production of rainbow trout and trout eggs in sea cage farms is the second most important type of aquaculture after land based production of trout. The Danish marine production of rainbow trout is located in the Baltic Sea along the southern cost of Jutland and a few production sites along the cost of Zealand. In Finland, marine aquaculture consists of rainbow trout production in cages.

Figure 3.7. Economic indicators related to finfish aquaculture

Figure 3.7. Economic indicators related to finfish aquaculture (data from the year 2014). Sources: for Finland and Denmark: STECF 2016b, for Sweden: Statistics Sweden 2017.

Tourism and leisure

The coastal and marine tourism sector covers a wide range of sub-sectors including accommodation, food and drink, and leisure activities, such as boating and fishing. In many cases, it is difficult to separate the extent of the Baltic Sea tourism from tourism that is not dependent on the marine and coastal environment, as the activities are not limited only to those which take place in the sea, but also includes those at the coast. However, marine tourism and recreation are dependent on the state of the sea, which is not true for all tourism activities taking place along the coast.

The tourism sector is an important employer, providing employment to almost 180 000 people in the coastal areas (Eurostat defines coastal areas as ‘municipalities bordering the sea or having half of their territory within 10 km from the coastline’ (Eurostat 2016a, 2016b). However, all of this employment cannot be attributed to the Baltic Sea, as only a portion of tourism in coastal areas is dependent on the marine environment. Information about the economic importance of Baltic Sea recreation is presented in Box 3.3. The total recreational benefits of the Baltic Sea are around 15 billion euros annually.

Renewable energy generation

Offshore wind energy is a sub-sector of the renewable energy production sector which takes place in the sea. Offshore wind energy refers to the development and construction of wind farms in marine waters and the conversion of wind energy into electricity (EC 2013a). It is a new industry that is considered to have much growth potential.

For offshore wind energy, non-monetary figures are used to describe the sector as there are no other socio- economic indicators available. The number and capacity of existing offshore wind turbines show the current situation, while the offshore wind turbines approved or under construction illustrate future development (Figures 3.8 and 3.9). In addition to these, there are dozens of proposed windfarm areas for the Baltic Sea. For example, according to the data, there are no existing offshore wind turbines in Poland, but 40 have been proposed.

While the data have been accepted by the countries, the year the data originates from is not clear in all cases. This makes the numerals on the planned wind turbines rather uncertain.

Figure 3.8. Number of existing offshore wind turbines and turbines approved or under construction.

Figure 3.8. Number of existing offshore wind turbines and turbines approved or under construction. Source: HELCOM (2017a). Empty data cells indicate missing information.

Figure 3.9. Capacity of existing offshore wind turbines and turbines approved or under construction in megawatts.

Figure 3.9. Capacity of existing offshore wind turbines and turbines approved or under construction in megawatts. Source: HELCOM (2017a). Empty data cells indicate missing information.

Figure 3.11. Annual total port traffic and gross weight of goods handled in all ports (million tonnes).

Figure 3.11. Annual total port traffic and gross weight of goods handled in all ports (million tonnes). Sources: For ‘Total port traffic’: Wahlström et al. (2014), for ‘Gross weight of goods handled in all ports’: Eurostat (2016c), except for Denmark (Statistics Denmark 2017) and Germany (Federal Statistical Office of Germany 2017a). Empty data cells indicate missing information.

Figure 3.12. Annual number of passengers embarked and disembarked in all ports (million passengers, 2014).

Figure 3.12. Annual number of passengers embarked and disembarked in all ports (million passengers, 2014). Source: Eurostat (2016d), except Denmark (Statistics Denmark 2017) and Germany (Federal Statistical Office of Germany 2017b). Empty data cells indicate missing information.

Transport – shipping

The socio-economic indicators for the shipping transport sector include both the value added from and the number of people employed by the sea and coastal freight and passenger transport (Figures 3.13 and 3.14). The total value added for the region from freight transport is 4.3 billion euros and from passenger transport 2.2 billion euros. For value added from sea and coastal freight water transport, Germany has the highest value added with 3.4 billion euros, but this includes all marine shipping and is not specific to the Baltic Sea. Finland has the next highest at 403 million euros. Latvia and Lithuania have the lowest values. For value added from sea and coastal passenger water transport, the numbers are more evenly spread, with Sweden having the highest value added followed by Finland and Denmark. The total number of people employed is 24 300 for freight transport and 24 500 for passenger transport. In 2011, there were an estimated 42 million international ferry passengers in the Baltic Sea (HELCOM 2015a).

Around 25% of the shipping in the Baltic Sea takes place under the flag of one of the Baltic Sea coastal countries, according to HELCOM data from the automatic identification system for vessels (AIS). It should be noted, however, that the numbers for Germany and Denmark relate to all shipping transport, not just the Baltic Sea. No data for Russia are available for the indicators based on Eurostat. Also, many countries do not report shipping statistics when the data ‘allow for statistical units to be identified’ (EU 2009), for example when there are too few actors to ensure anonymity of the data. In this case, data have been marked as confidential by countries. Together, these issues affect the regional totals.

Figure 3.13. Annual value added at factor cost from sea and coastal freight and passenger water transport in 2014 (million euros).

Figure 3.13. Annual value added at factor cost from sea and coastal freight and passenger water transport in 2014 (million euros). ‘Value added at factor cost’ is defined by Eurostat as the ‘gross income from operating activities after adjusting for operating subsidies and indirect taxes’. Value adjustments (such as depreciation) are not subtracted. Source: Eurostat (2016e). Empty data cells indicate missing or confidential information. Danish and German numbers include both the North and Baltic Sea.

Figure 3.14. Number of people employed annually by sea and coastal freight and passenger water transport in 2014 (million euros).

Figure 3.14. Number of people employed annually by sea and coastal freight and passenger water transport in 2014 (million euros). Source: Eurostat (2016e) (sbs_na_1a_se_r2). Empty data cells indicate missing or confidential information. Danish and German numbers include both the North and Baltic Sea.

Box 3.3 Example of economic and social analyses: recreation

Marine and coastal recreation is a marine activity which is dependent on the state of the Baltic Sea environment. Thus, it is possible to assess both the current economic value of recreation, and the losses in recreation values due to the deterioration of the marine environment.