Nearly 13,000 companies that employ 56,000 people and create an added value – that is to say the value of production developed after costs for intermediate goods and services – of 3.1 billion Euros with upshots for the rest of the economy of more than 6 billion Euros. These are the figures from the sea industry photographed in the Report on the Sector compiled by Unioncamere, the public entity that unites the chambers of commerce, industry, artisanship and agriculture.
Overall, the sector showed itself to be very dynamic over the past four years, as demonstrated by the growth in number of employees and of businesses at the national level, and was particularly supported by research, regulations, and environmental protection, as well as the components more closely linked to tourism. In Italy, the research stresses, the blue economy comprehensively develops an added value of 41 billion, a figure that, when it also includes the upshots on the rest of the economy, reaches 120 billion.

In Tuscany, a large portion (approximately 43% of the total) of the businesses “of the sea” belong to the food service industry and lodging sectors, confirming a very wide offer that develops itself along the 630 kilometers of coastline and on the seven islands of the Tuscan Archipelago (Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona). From the industrial perspective, instead, the flagship is represented by the shipyard sector, which counts 2,600 businesses that, according to the Unioncamere investigation, generated 522 million in exports in 2013. Viareggio, where some of the world’s leading builders such as Azimut Benetti, Rodriguez, Fipa Group, San Lorenzo, and Perini Navi are concentrated, constitutes the industry’s nerve center.

This leadership, combined with the high level of touristic offer, enable Livorno to be one of Italy’s main provinces in terms of the sea industry (the first, if we exclude large centers such as Rome, Venice, Naples and Genoa), with an added value of 1.3 billion Euros in 2013. By itself, this area represents more than 3% of Italy’s blue economy. The strong marine vocation of the Livorno area compliments nicely with its diversification through various sectors: if tourism is the most well-represented sector, and the shipyards account for its excellence, maritime transports and the fishing industry are also relevant. 

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