The most important sectors within the Blue Growth Strategy are Biotechnology and exploitation of marine natural resources

The strategy focus on develop sectors that have a high potential for sustainable jobs and growth, such as:


Farming finfish, shellfish and aquatic plants is one of the world’s fastest growing food sectors, it already provides the planet with about half of all the fish we eat. In Europe, aquaculture accounts for about 20% of fish production and directly employs some 85 000 people. The sector is mainly composed of SMEs or micro-enterprises in coastal and rural areas. EU aquaculture is renowned for its high quality, sustainability and consumer protection standards.

Coastal Tourism

The coastal and maritime tourism sector has been identified as an area with special potential to foster a smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe. It is the biggest maritime sector in terms of gross value added and employment and, according to the Blue Growth Study is expected to grow by 2-3% by 2020. In 2012, Cruise tourism alone represents 330,000 jobs and a direct turnover of €15.5 billion and is expected to grow.

Marine Biotechnology

Blue biotechnology is concerned with the exploration and exploitation of the resulting diverse marine organisms in order to develop new products.


Concerted action from the EU at this early stage joins up the efforts of EU countries in order to provide critical mass and hence stimulate growth and facilitate access to competitive niche markets whilst avoiding risks to the marine environment.

Ocean Energy

Ocean energy technologies are currently being developed to exploit the potential of tides and waves as well as differences in temperature and salinity.


The development of this emerging sector would not only help us to achieve our renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets, but it could fuel economic growth through innovation and create new, high-quality jobs.

Seabed Mining

The quantity of minerals occupying the ocean floor is potentially large. Seabed mining is concerned with the retrieval of these minerals to ensure security of supply; and fill a gap in the market where either recycling is not possible or adequate, or the burden on terrestrial mines is too great.


Numerous organisations within the EU are presently engaged in seabed mining activities, both as technology providers and as mine operators. The sector, though small, has been identified as having the potential to generate sustainable growth and jobs for future generations.