I, too, thank the Chairman and the committee for the opportunity to brief the committee on progress in regard to Ireland's integrated marine plan, Harnessing Ireland's Ocean Wealth. I will outline the key achievements since the launch of the Government’s plan in 2012 and set the context of the plan in regard to the global ocean economy and the EU ocean economy. The plan sets two ambitious economic targets, namely, to double the value of the ocean wealth to 2.4% of GDP by 2030 - we are now at 2.1% - and to increase the turnover of the ocean economy to exceed €6.4 billion per annum by 2020, in respect of which we are now at €6.2 billion.
The global ocean economy is composed of a diverse set of activities, which we have grouped into six categories. The first is bioresources and food, which includes sea fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing; energy, which includes offshore oil and gas exploration and production, marine renewables, offshore - wind, wave and tidal; tourism, which includes tourism and leisure activities; transport, which includes shipping, maritime transport, shipbuilding and maritime commerce; marine support activities and; high-tech products.
In terms of the global and European contexts, the global ocean economy accounts for the direct employment of approximately 31 million, of which fisheries accounts for 33%, and tourism for 25%. The OECD estimates that the value of the global oceans economy is approximately US$1.5 trillion, approximately 2.5% of global gross value added, GVA. The European Union produced its first report on the ocean economy in 2018 and the latest report produced this year reported that the most significant expansion and growth in the blue economy was in Malta and in Ireland. The consensus is that there is a bright future for the blue economy. The success is driven by many established and emerging innovative Irish businesses, facilitated by the ongoing work of the Marine Co-ordination Group. The OECD has forecast that the global ocean economy will double in size by 2030 to €3 trillion. Many marine segments are set to grow fast in the world economy, including aquaculture, fish processing, offshore wind, and port activities. Employment is set to reach 40 million, outpacing overall growth of the global labour force. The high growth across ocean industries will encounter considerable challenges in relation to climate change, regulation and diverse demands on natural resources. In terms of targets set out in Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, as I stated previously, two ambitious targets were set by the Government. They were to double the value of our ocean wealth to 2.4% of GDP by 2030 and to increase the turnover from the ocean economy to exceed €6.4 billion by 2020. The 2020 target of €6.4 billion may be exceeded and we are moving in the right direction towards the 2030 target.
Detailed figures on Ireland's ocean economy are available in the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit, SEMRU, report. SEMRU is based in NUI Galway. It produces a detailed report every year on the figures relating to the blue economy. The latest report was published in June 2019 at SeaFest, which was held in Cork, and showed turnover to be €6.23 billion, which is very close to our target for 2020 of €6.4 billion. In terms of trends from 2016 to 2018, we have had a 13% increase in turnover, an 11% increase in GVA and national growth is estimated at 10%. There has been a 13% increase in employment. The national employment growth rate is 3%, which means the marine sector is outpacing national employment growth. Established sectors in the marine economy account for 93% of the ocean economy. These sectors increased turnover by 12%. In emerging sectors the turnover increased by 20%, which is 12% direct GVA.
I will go into a bit more detail from the SEMRU report on Ireland's ocean economy in relation to the general economy. While growth in the Irish economy from 2014 to 2016 was approximately 16%, the ocean economy grew by 33%. GVA growth rates in Ireland's ocean economy was 11%, while it was 10% in the normal economy in the same period. In terms of the indirect impact, there is an indirect GVA of €1.96 billion in 2018, giving a total GVA, direct and indirect, of €4.19 billion, which represents 2% of GDP. The next two figures really show what has been happening. In terms of turnover, for every €100 turnover in Ireland's ocean economy, a further €78 is created in other sectors as a knock-on effect. In terms of employment, for every 100 marine jobs a further 75 jobs are created indirectly in other parts of the Irish economy. Established industries in Ireland's ocean economy account for 93% of total marine turnover. This category is dominated by shipping and maritime transport, as well as tourism and leisure in marine and coastal areas. Shipping and maritime transport continue to be the largest contributor in terms of turnover and value added. Tourism and leisure is the largest contributor with regard to employment.
In emerging industries, marine advanced technology and marine commerce make the largest contribution in terms of turnover and value added. Marine advanced technology products and services, along with the marine biotechnology sector, are also important players. Full details of the trends and economic outlook for all the figures I have given, and additional detail, are provided in the NUI Galway report published in June 2019.
I will now move to another few important topics that are outlined in the document that was circulated. The rural and regional significance of Ireland's ocean and coastal communities is well known. Further research is under way in NUI Galway, funded by the Marine Institute. We are looking further into the figures in that regard. BIM has highlighted the importance of fishing and aquaculture to coastal fishing communities. It will be an important aspect of marine planning into the future.
I will now refer to key cross-Government announcements and progress since the launch of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth. As mentioned in the opening statement, the implementation of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth requires an integrated approach across the Government. While individual Departments and agencies continue to implement and develop new policies and strategies that often transverse the marine, a number of specific integrated and cross-Government actions were identified in the plan. Ms Maria Graham from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government can respond to any questions on the marine planning framework for Ireland.
I wish to pick three specific areas relating to the past seven years of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth where there have been great strides forward. The first is marine research and innovation. Ireland's national marine research and innovation strategy was launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Creed, in June 2017. The strategy provides a framework for the funding of marine research that can be targeted most effectively to areas of strategic importance. Key to implementation of the strategy is the establishment of cross-Government implementation structures. All the agencies involved in funding the marine are coming together to discuss the strategic direction under the auspices of the marine research funders forum. There is also the marine infrastructure providers forum. All the available marine infrastructure in this country in the various universities and agencies is now discussed and catalogued. That is very important for future marine research in terms of identifying gap areas. Those fora, which were established in 2018 are facilitating co-operation and enhanced co-ordination between the national and regional research funding agencies. Recent analysis on investment by the State and the EU that are aligned to the marine research and innovation strategy show that more than €210 million has been awarded or won by the Irish marine research community. That includes more than €84 million from the EU research budgets, Horizon 2020 and INTERREG funding. The State continues to invest in key national marine infrastructural investments. Science Foundation Ireland, SFI, has invested in the MaREI research centre in Cork. The national research vessel fleet will be augmented by a new vessel. SFI has also invested in the national test facilities for marine renewable energy and seafood innovation as well as building capacity and capability in climate and ocean forecasting.
Following the publication of the marine co-ordination group development task force report in 2015, a number of targeted business development activities and cross-sectoral events and activities are being progressed. These include promoting marine capabilities in Irish small and medium size enterprises, SMEs, as well as attracting new marine businesses to Ireland. Páirc na Mara, a new marine innovation park under development in Cill Chiaráin in the Connemara Gaeltacht of County Galway, is an important multi-agency initiative led by Údarás na Gaeltachta. The master plan for Páirc na Mara will enable Údarás na Gaeltachta and its partners to develop an internationally recognised development facility that will act as a catalyst to co-ordinate and drive the growth of the marine sector and attract public and private sector investment in support of marine technology, innovation, commercialisation and business development. Specifically, it will deliver infrastructure and services which will translate research, technology, development and innovation potential into new products and services, targeting new international markets, increasing levels of innovation, research, commercialisation and new enterprise formation.
On international collaboration, Ireland continues to be a strong influence in the development and implementation of EU maritime policy, strategies and programmes building on the existing relationships with the EU institutions such as the European Parliament, the European Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee and European Commission services across a range of Directorates General. Key to this work is the permanent diplomatic post dedicated to maritime affairs within Ireland's Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. The Brussels-based maritime attaché role, working on behalf of the marine co-ordination group, ensures that Ireland is centrally placed to influence the development and implementation of maritime policy as well as promote and champion its national marine sector.
In recent years, Ireland has been central to the development and implementation of the EU Atlantic strategy and the associated action plan. This includes the implementation of the Galway statement, which sees Ireland via the Marine Institute in a central co-ordinating role in supporting the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, which an alliance between the EU, US and Canada.
The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 will provide a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support countries' actions to sustainably manage the oceans and, more particularly, to achieve the agenda for sustainable development by 2030. Planning and implementation of the decade is being co-ordinated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, on which Ireland is represented by the Marine Institute. The UN decade of the ocean, which will start in 2021, will look at the science for sustainable oceans. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver scientific knowledge, foster technological innovation and build capacity to achieve the 2030 agenda and reverse the decline in ocean health. That concludes my remarks on the statement on progress made on harnessing our ocean wealth and ancillary items relating to harnessing our ocean wealth.