What is the Maritime Sector?
The maritime sector is a part or division of a countries economy that has to do with harnessing the potential of sea business. And this is of crucial importance to modern societies. But the general public has a limited perception and appreciation of its influence and role as an essential element in terms of social and economic development, and as a potential source of excellent employment and career opportunities, with several million people currently working in activities and companies directly and indirectly related to oceans and seas worldwide.
The maritime sector is composed of organizations and activities such as maritime transportation, the naval industry (naval engineering and shipbuilding companies, and the component supply sector), commercial fishing and aquaculture industry, the cruise and recreational sector, sport and commercial ports and marinas, marine energy sources, navies, marine and ocean research and sciences, maritime training academies and training centers, a wide range of professional services around the maritime activities, and professional associations, trade unions and organizations supporting the rights and interests of seafarers and maritime professionals.Let us look at some of them:
Fishing - This is the industry has to do catching of fish in the sea. The industry has fleets of fishing ships and personnel to carry out this business. Nearly four million commercial fishing vessels ply the seas and oceans at any given moment.
Shipping - Shipping is the transportation of goods by sea. Shipping has for long been the major form of transporting large goods, as well as an essential communication link connecting coastal cities, countries and continents. About 90% of world trade is carried by the international shipping industry. About 50,000 merchant ships, registered in over 150 nations and manned by over a million seafarers of nearly every nationality, transport every kind of cargo internationally. These ships are Bulk carriers, Oil Tankers, Chemical Tankers, Roro Vessels, Container Vessels, General Cargo Ships. Coastal ships carrying goods in the coastal waters are all part of this industry.
Offshore Oil Exploration - This industry has to do with the looking for oil in the sea. The enormous growth of world population and the subsequent increasing of energy needs, both in developing and developed countries, call for an increase in the offshore exploration and production of hydrocarbons. This has led to the engagement of many countries in drilling operations off the coast of 74 nations worldwide. Several thousand oil rigs and support and supply offshore vessels are engaged in the exploration and drilling for oil and gas in almost every corner of the globe.
The Cruise Ship Industry - This is the industry that has to do with carrying of passengers for diversified leisure and tourism. Several hundred of large and mega cruise ships all over the world are involved in this business. In fact there are a myriad of recreational ships all over the world. Coastal boats and Ferries carrying passengers in the coastal waters are all part of this industry.
Naval Engineering and Shipbuilding Companies - These are companies involved in the design and construction of ships of various type and sizes. It is a multi-Dollar industry.
Marine and Ocean Research and Sciences - This is an industry that carry out research of the sea and ocean and come out with a better way of using this resource.
Commercial Ports and Marinas - These are public or privately own facilities that accommodated all kind of ships for loading and discharging their goods.
Maritime Training Academies and Training Centers - These is the industry that produces the manpower that will work in the various maritime industries.
There are a wide range of professional services around the maritime activities, and professional associations, trade unions and organizations supporting the rights and interests of seafarers and maritime professionals, regulatory bodies, like IMO, FIATA, NIMASA, to mention but a few.
It is difficult to quantify the total value of the world maritime industry, and the economic relevance of a sector that affects a wide range of aspects of modern societies and their development. The maritime industry is of huge importance in terms of natural resources and energy, trade and industry, sciences and leisure activities. An essential part of our trade and prosperity, which demands innovative solutions and careful management systems to ensure its long-term sustainability, as well as the implementation of national and international regulations and instruments to address some still-unsolved issues and new problems expected to emerge in a near future (social and labor rights, international registration of ships, taxes, maritime environmental protection, etc.
Maritime activities continue to expand, bringing benefits for people across the world thanks to a growing efficiency of technical and human resources. The merchant navy, offshore oil sector, commercial fishery and cruise companies are part of the industry of the future, and the maritime sector is already a key catalyst for socio-economic development and international competitiveness in a changing world, with new companies and organizations emerging and establishing operations in Europe, Asia and North America.Click to Return to Frequently Asked Maritime Main Page