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About Maritime Economics
The body of literature on maritime clusters shows a misuse of the word ‘maritime’. This misuse has led different authors to include certain activities such as fisheries, offshore energy within the scope of maritime activities when in fact they fall within the scope of marine activities (Michael Gallis and Associates, 2000; Peeters, 2000; Westwood et al. 2001; Wijnolst et al., 2003; Sornn-Friese; 2003; Policy Research Corporation, 2008). Also, the recent use of the terms ‘economy of oceans’ or ‘economy of the seas’ has contributed to increase this misuse. The 2006 Commission of the European Communities Green Paper on ‘Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European vision for the oceans and seas’, caused some confusion of a conceptual nature since it also included activities not related to transport. The whole set of activities are broader in scope since they relate more to oceans and to seas, and in this regard the European Union integrated maritime policy should be named as an integrated oceans and seas policy. The body of research work published in numerous academic journals has failed to define it, thus leading authors to adopt either narrow approaches or misallocating activities.
An insight into the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary shows that ‘oceans’ and ‘seas’ terms present clear definitions. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, an ocean is “any of the large bodies of water (as the Atlantic Ocean) into which the great ocean is divided” and sea is “a body of salt water of second rank more or less landlocked”. Since our planet has more than one ocean and more than one sea, it is appropriate to talk about ‘oceans and seas’ and consequently about an Economy of the Oceans and of the Seas. In what comes to the terms ‘maritime’ and ‘marine’, their description is rather ambiguous, since the boundary between them is not clear. Damanaki (2011), in her speech about ‘The Future Economics of the Sea’ helped to clarify the misuse of the concepts, and provide a new understanding when she said that “The seas are simultaneously ways of transport, sources of raw material, sources of energy, sources of food, water reservoirs, the world's climate engine, and a place for leisure. With about 70% of its surface covered by water, Earth is the blue planet”. According to her statement, the Economy of the Oceans and of the Seas comprises three important areas of economics (and consequently three clusters), namely maritime economics because the oceans and the seas are a way of transport, marine resource economics, because the oceans and the seas are a source of raw material, energy and food, and nautical tourism economics because the oceans and the seas are a place for leisure. The Figure identifies the activities going into each of the economics area.
Economy of the Oceans and of the Seas, Sectors and Activities
Source: Paixão Casaca, A. C. (2013). Improving the Competitiveness of the Portuguese Maritime Cluster. In: Proceedings of the Internacional Association of Maritime Economists Annual Conference, Marseille, France, 3-5 July, Paper ID 015.
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