Maritime Sector in Canada Methodology


The present methodology and data sources sections are based in large part on an internal report prepared for Fisheries and Oceans Canada by Acton White and Associates, "Economic Impact of Marine Related Activities in Canada: Update (2008)".


The Statistics Canada's Inter-provincial Input-Output Model (IO model) Footnote 1 was used to estimate the economic contribution of maritime industries to the Canadian economy ( Maritime industries were defined according to Gardner Pinfold (2009) Footnote 2 . Gross value of output and/or expenditures data were collected for each maritime industry and run through the industry tables of the IO model ( Economic impacts were measured in gross domestic product (GDP) and employment.

GDP refers to the industry's contribution to the Canadian GDP. The domestic product of an industry consists of the value it adds to production of output by applying labour and capital to the other purchased inputs. GDP is calculated by subtracting from total revenues (or output) of a given industry, the costs of material, energy, and purchased services (e.g. accounting and legal services retained from outside the given industry). This enables a meaningful comparison across industries.

Employment is measured in terms of number of jobs, rather than the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (i.e. the ratio of 'total number of hours worked' to the 'average annual hour worked in full-time jobs'). This is because Statistics Canada no longer provides FTE information after 2008.

Economic impacts are generated through direct, indirect and induced demand in the economy expressed in terms of industry and consumer purchases of goods and services:

  • Direct impact refers to the impact in those industries which have received purchase orders from a given industry, which has made expenditures to buy the goods and services needed to produce the given industry's outputs. For example, the fishing industry buys nets and traps from manufacturers; water transportation buys fuel from refineries.
  • Indirect impact refers to the inter-industry purchases triggered by the direct demand. For example, net makers buy necessary raw material from its manufacturers and supplier; refineries buy services from maintenance contractors; catering companies buy basic food products. These industries in turn buy more basic goods and services, and so on.
  • Induced impact is on account of the demand created in the broader economy through consumer spending of incomes earned by those employed in direct and indirect activities. It may take a year or more for these rounds of consumer spending to work their way through an economy.

The sum of impacts flowing from each level of demand gives the overall economic impact of Canada's marine sectors.

Data Sources


Commercial Fishing: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, commercial sea fisheries landings, Canada provincial- values,

Aquaculture: Statistics Canada, Aquaculture Statistics, Catalogue No. 23-222-XWE. In the case of British Columbia, due to vertical integration in the aquaculture industry, the total wholesale output of aquaculture, including processing, was used. For this reason, aquaculture processing is not included under "fish processing".

Fish processing: Statistics Canada, Table 301-0006: Principal Statistics for Manufacturing Industries, by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), NAICS 3117, seafood preparation and packaging. Due to confidentiality, data for British Columbia is from the British Columbia Stats Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector Report 2012.

Offshore Oil & Gas

Oil & gas exploration/extraction: Production data for offshore oil were sourced from the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Monthly Production Reports. The production data were converted to revenues using Brent oil price index (

Production data on offshore gas was sourced from the Canada Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board. Prices were based on the Natural Gas spot price at the Henry Hub terminal in Louisiana (

Support activities for oil & gas: value of output was sourced from the two offshore boards, the Energy Board and the Petroleum Board, identified above for Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. Data from the Provincial Input-Output Tables, Statistics Canada CANSIM 381-0028, were used to work out the proportion of support services.


Marine transportation: Custom data on revenue flows by province were obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency (NAICS 483).

Support activities: Custom data on revenue flows by province were obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency (NAICS 4883).

Tourism & Recreation

Scenic and Sightseeing Water Transportation: Custom data on revenue flows by province were obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency (NAICS 4872).

Other Tourism & Recreation: Estimates for 2008 are based on:

  • Recreational fishing: Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2010 Survey of Recreational Fishing,
  • Recreational Boating: 2006 Recreational Boating survey (, updated based on changing price patterns (Consumer Price Index) and the Statistics Canada Satellite Tourism Account (changes in participation).
  • Cruise Ships: Statistics Canada Tourism Satellite Survey. Data on expenditures for shore-based accommodation and transportation were not included because the cruise ship provides both as part of the fare.
  • Recreational Travel: Statistics Canada public use microdata travelers' file and traveler data from the same surveys published on CANSIM by Statistics Canada.

Estimates for 2009, 2010 and 2011 were calculated by applying the weighted annual % change in the GDP from Traveler Accommodations (NAICS 7211) and Recreational Fishing to the 2008 output estimates. Traveler Accommodations and Recreational Fishing were used because they are the largest sub-sectors.

Manufacturing & construction

Shipbuilding and boat building: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 301-0006, Principal Statistics for Manufacturing Industries by NAICS. The data was suppressed for confidentiality reasons for some provinces. Statistics Canada's Business Register data on employment by worker counts and establishments were used to prorate national data to restricted provinces.

Oil & Gas facilities construction: Statistics Canada, CANSIM 381-0015, Provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by industry in current dollars. This table was discontinued in 2008. Average annual GDP growth rates were extrapolated for subsequent years.

Ports and Harbours construction: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 029-0040, Capital Expenditures on Construction, by Type of Asset.

Public sector

National Defence (DND): Data on defence services operations and maintenance (O&M) and capital expenditures for 2008 for coastal provinces were obtained from Defence Canada. The data was derived from DND Estimated Expenditures by Electoral District and Province. This source is not published and was obtained through a special request to DND.

Total DND spending for subsequent years was sourced from the Departmental Performance Report ( The annual % change in total DND spending was used to update the 2008 output estimates.

Fisheries and Oceans (DFO): Expenditures for 2008 were obtained from the Public Accounts of Canada and the Main Estimates ( Expenditures were increased by 20 percent to reflect overhead and policy-related services provided by corporate head offices located in the National Capital Region. An effort was made not to include data otherwise counted in the National Accounts including ferry transportation, services to water transportation and marine-related construction.

Expenditures for subsequent years were estimated by using the annual % change in DFO expenditures. DFO expenditures data were sourced from the internally available Multi Year Financial Planning System. Other Federal Departments: The same methodology used for the previous category (DFO) was also used for this one.

Provincial Government Departments: Provincial expenditures for 2008 associated with the ocean economy in both the Atlantic/Quebec and Pacific Regions were obtained from the provincial Main Estimates and Public Accounts for each respective province. An effort was made to exclude data otherwise counted in the National Accounts including ferry transportation, services to water transportation and marine-related construction.

For subsequent years, data was collected on fisheries and marine transportation categories under government spending by respective provincial governments, sourced from their official websites. This approach does not include the marine-related expenditures by the Department of Environment Footnote 3.

ENGOs: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 388-0002, Income and gross domestic product (GDP) by primary area of activity, non-profit institutions and volunteering. This data source was terminated in 2008. Expenditures for a representative sample of marine-related ENGOs were used to calculate an annual % change, which was applied to project expenditures for subsequent years.

Universities: Estimates for 2008 of university ocean-related expenditures were based on a two-stage approach. The first stage involved compiling all ocean-related grants to coastal universities from the federal granting councils, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the federal Council for Innovation. The second stage involved estimating annual expenditures based on average salaries for professors for ocean-related institutes and bodies connected to these coastal universities.

Statistics Canada's CANSIM Table 379-0030 [NAICS 6113 - Universities] provided the contribution to GDP by universities. The annual % change in this data table was applied to project expenditures for subsequent years.