Offshore Industry News

Ocean Enterprise Study Released

The ocean enterprise—profit and not for profit businesses which support ocean measurement, observation and forecasting—is a critical component of maritime commerce and the blue economy. A newly released study from the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) program and its partners is the first national-scale assessment of the size, scope, and value of the ocean enterprise.


Working together, public & private data and data products tell harbor masters if that 1,100 ft. ship can safely enter port right now. It tells fishermen if it’s safe to go to today’s spot for catch. It tells search & rescue teams about ocean conditions to more quickly pinpoint people and property. The ocean enterprise an important and expanding field, and one in which the U.S. is a world leader, but until now we’ve never really had a full picture of it. With that bigger picture-- this study--we can more quickly identify opportunities, resources, and information gaps and help propel the enterprise forward.

This study identified more than 400 firms in 36 states operating in the sphere of ocean enterprise. This immediately yielded one of the key points about this study—the ocean enterprise is not geographically constrained. There are major hubs all along the U.S. coastline, from San Diego and Seattle to Boston, but there’s also firms inland—in Nebraska, Kansas, and Montana—all visibly contributing to the ocean enterprise, but never captured by regional studies.

The other big discovery is that, of revenues generated by these firms overall, $7 billion comes from their work in the Ocean Enterprise every year. That’s a significant contribution to the GDP. This study also demonstrates a high degree of optimism toward the future—nearly all companies surveyed expected to expand or maintain their current operations in the coming years.

The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) program, which is within NOAA’s National Ocean Service contracted with ERISS Corporation and The Maritime Alliance to execute the study. To find out more, or read the full report, click here.

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