The maritime economy: diverse and geographically-specific activities
France has the world's second largest maritime territory in terms of surface area. From fishing to ocean biotechnologies, half a million people are employed in the maritime economy, equivalent to 2% of overall national employment. In the coastal tourism sector, which accounts for half of these jobs, men and women are equally represented and most have the status of “employees”. In other domains, men are in the majority and most of the jobs involve manual labour. Nonetheless some sectors, particularly those connected with energy production, offer more managerial posts. On average, establishments operating in the maritime economy are smaller and younger than establishments in other sectors. Generally speaking the traditional areas of employment are losing jobs, with the exception of tourism where employment is growing. Furthermore, new activities are being established. Maritime employment is naturally concentrated in coastal zones, with half of these jobs in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Brittany regions. The nature of maritime activities varies from region to region, depending on their respective climatic and geographical characteristics and their position in relation to the main fishing zones and major maritime transport routes.