Did you know?

Here are some remarkable or surprising facts, that you can find throughout our brochures (Section"Downloads") :
 
  • 3/4 of the world's megacities are situated by the sea.
  • In October 2014, the Secretary of State for Transport, the Sea and Fishing unveiled an ambitious maritime policy in support of jobs, the environment, innovation and education.
  • According to estimates, between 3 and 5% of European GDP is generated by sea related industries and services, not counting the contribution made by raw materials such as hydrocarbons and fish.
  • The European Union has the largest EEZ in the world with more than 25 million km2. It also has 1,200 ports spread over 68,000 km of coastline and the largest merchant fleet in the world.
  • Man has gone to the moon more often than he has descended into the ocean deeps.
  • "Voilier du Futur" brings together 22 innovative projects in the leisure boatbuilding industry with the aim of creating a demonstrator cruising yacht of the future which will incorporate eco-innovations in materials, energy, waste water treatment, rigging, superstructure, ergonomics and safety.
  • There was a rise of 23% in R&D related jobs in SME and MSE within competitiveness clusters between 2006 and 2009.
  • 90% of the resources of France's EEZ are in the DOM-COM (oil, gas, rare earths), with important deposits in French Polynesia and Wallis-et-Futuna.
  • Clipperton, an isolated atoll of 1.7 km2 in the middle of the Pacific, provides France with an EEZ of 440,000 km2, nearly the area of France itself.
  • The cost of shipping 20 tonnes of goods by container from Asia to Europe is less than a single economy class air ticket over the same route.
  • The world’s major shipping companies, all sectors considered, are mainly European and family-owned.
  • The French merchant fleet is ranked foremost in the world for quality and safety (PSC rating).
  • On 1st January 2013, the French flagged merchant fleet included 199 vessels of more than 100 UMS.
  • The Strait of Malacca is the busiest in the world. It is now reaching saturation point with more than 50,000 ships passing through each year.
  • In July 2014, the world's merchant fleet represented a tonnage of 1.6 billion tonnes.
  • The European Union has a target of reaching 10% renewable energy in transport by 2020.
  • Oil tankers carry 60% (or around 2000 million tonnes) of the oil consumed in the world. 
  • Pas-de-Calais sees 80,000 ships pass per year, far more than the 25,000 of the Persian Gulf.
  • In 2015, deep offshore oil production is likely to reach 10 million barrels per day, or 10% of world production.
  • The Arctic could be ice-free in summer from 2030/2050.
  • "A ship that has not tasted wine will taste blood": this proverb illustrates the tradition of breaking a bottle on the hull of a new ship to baptise her!
  • Every year 10 billion tonnes of ballast water are moved around the planet and offloaded in foreign waters.
  • Over the past 5 years, French naval defence has been the driver of French exports of defence equipment accounting for more than 50% of all such exports.
  • The astrolabe, an ancient form of sextant, dates from 150 BC and was invented by the Greeks.
  • Créac’h, one of the 5 lighthouses on the island of Ushant, is the most powerful in the world with a range of 63 km.
  • There are currently nearly 700 offshore platforms in service.
  • A new life form, based on chemical energy rather than luminous energy, lives in the deep sea hydrothermal vents along mid-ocean ridges
  • Offshore extraction only accounts for around a third of world oil production, but nearly 40% of new discoveries.
  • A mouthful of sea water can contain millions of bacteria, hundreds of thousands of phytoplankton and tens of thousands of zooplankton
  • The international distress call was CQD until 1906, then it became S0S until 1929, now it is Mayday, an English corruption of the French phrase "venez m’aider" meaning “come and help me”.
  • Pirates were hung "high and short": high to let everyone see, and short to save on rope which was more valuable than the lives of the buccaneers.
  • Losses in maritime transport have dropped from 1 vessel in a 100 per year in 1912, when the Titanic sank, to 1 vessel in 670 per year in 2009.
  • The first semaphores were created under Napoleon I (now they provide an aid to navigation by visual markers, radio and radar all along our coasts).
  • 75% of pollution in the oceans comes from industrial and urban effluents.
  • Most particles polluting the oceans come from the machine washing of clothes made of synthetic fabric.
  • Sea transport accounts for 2% to 4% of CO2 emissions for more than 90% of goods transported by sea.
  • The rise in sea temperature due to the greenhouse effect has caused nearly 1% of phytoplankton to disappear in a century. The acidity of the ocean has risen by 30%.
  • The Great Barrier Reef, measuring 2000 km in length, is the biggest living structure on Earth. It can be seen from the Moon.
  • 6 GW: that is the potential power available in Brittany and Normandy from tidal currents.
  • "Of the €1,500 billion generated by the maritime economy in the world, €190 billion comes from sectors that did not exist ten years ago. Marine Renewable Energy is one of these."
  • It is estimated that 39,000 km2 (10% of the area of Germany) of algaculture would be sufficient to replace all the oil used in the United States.
  • The wind energy sector generates: 11,000 jobs now and potentially 60,000 in 2020.
  • According to a UK report, world demand for energy will rise 36% by 2030.
  • The United Kingdom’s planned 250 wind farms could meet the electricity consumption of the population of Scotland.
  • New maritime activities could represent 500 billion dollars by around 2020, more than the world's luxury goods industry.
  • Belgian ports account for 7% of the country's GDP.
  • 95% of fish catches in the world (80 million tonnes) are caught near to the coast.
  • European sea traffic has increased by 60% in ten years.
  • 210,000 TEU are handled each day in the main ports of the EU. The blockage of this export route would result in a loss of more than 243 million euros per day for European companies!
  • The lighthouse at Alexandria was approximately 120m high, which would make it even today the world's tallest stone-built lighthouse. It was built in the 3rd century BC.
  • Bulk liquids accounted for 43.2% of goods traffic in French ports in 2012. Containers only made up 11.5%.
  • Chinese ports alone handle 1/3 of world trade by sea.
  • By 2015 it is forecast that 184 million TEU will be shipped while the number of containers carried is likely to quadruple by 2030.
  • Three quarters of the very large urban complexes on the planet are situated on the coast.
  • In 2010, more than 150 million containers were transported, double the number shipped in 2000.
  • In 2012, SNSM sea rescuers were called out 5349 times and rescued 8,071 people.
  • The word "admiral" comes from the Arabic "amir al-bahr", which means prince of the sea.
  • By 1st September 2013, 3 pirate attacks had been recorded off Somalia against 176 in 2011. This shows the effectiveness of actions such as Operation Atalanta against piracy.
  • In 2013, 13% of those employed in the French Navy were women.
  • France has around 9 million sailing enthusiasts, more than the population of Denmark.
  • On 31 August 2013, there were a total of 969,644 pleasure craft registered in France.
  • 75% of firms in the water sports sector have less than 20 employees.
  • The largest yacht in the world is the Azzam. It is 180 metres long, belongs to Sheikh Khalifa ben Zayed Al Nahyane and is estimated to have cost 400 million dollars.
  • 250,000 marine organisms have so far been recorded. This is only 10% of the number of species thought to exist.
  • More than 30,000 species of microalgae have now been catalogued. More than 200,000 could exist.
  • A tsunami can reach a speed of 380 knots. That is the same as an airliner.
  • Microalgae could be the key to 3rd generation biofuels. Start-ups and commercial partnerships are already being launched in this field.
  • A report by the OECD estimates that biotechnology in Europe could make 2000 billion euros in profits and create 22 million jobs.
  • Globally, sea products have provided more than 1.5 billion people with nearly 20% of their average needs in animal proteins.
  • 90% of the world's fishermen work on a small-scale local level, but account for more than half the world's catches.
  • Aquaculture accounts for 42% of world fish consumption.
  • More than 3.5 billion people depend on the oceans for their main source of food. Within 20 years, this number could double to seven billion.
  • Although coral reefs represent less than 0.5% of the ocean floor, it is estimated that more than 90% of marine species are directly or indirectly dependent on them.
  • 75 to 96% of sea transport casualties are down to "human error".
  • Piracy is estimated to cost 7 billion dollars.
  • Bulk liquids accounted for 43.2% of goods traffic in French ports in 2012. Containers only made up 11.5%.
  • The world's oceans contain nearly 20 million tonnes of gold
  • Thirty years ago offshore drilling took place in water up to 300 metres deep, now it is between 2000 and 3000 metres deep.
  • In 2013, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM) trained more than 1000 people on around twenty certificate courses.
  • "Crossing the line" is a tradition celebrated at sea when a sailor crosses the equator for the first time. The ritual is marked by a symbolic festive ceremony.
  • In August 1858, the Empress, on a visit to Brest, offered her hankerchief as a bandage to a sailor who had injured the top of his head when saluting her. This handkerchief became the red pompom on sailors' berets, supposed to cushion knocks to the head on decks with low ceilings.
  •  Article 136 of the Montego Bay Convention states that the deep seabed controlled by the International Seabed Authority is the common heritage of mankind.
  • At the International Maritime Organisation, France is one of the top three States to have ratified the most international conventions on the prevention of accidental oil spills.
  • As early as 1604, Hugo Grotius in his "mare liberum" laid down the principle of the freedom of the seas and the basis of a "borderless" law of the sea.
  • The French word marétique (Mare (in latin) + [informa] tique) refers to the computing and electronic systems used to control and automate operations to do with sea, river and port activities.
  • In 2012 there were a million kilometres of fibre optic cables on the sea bottom.
  • In the last century, sea levels have risen by 10 to 25 centimetres. If all the ice sheets on the planet were to melt, ocean levels would rise by 66 metres.
  • Less than half a percent of marine habitats are protected - compared with 11.5% of the world's land area.
  • The first ten feet of the ocean contains as much heat as our whole atmosphere
  • The High Seas - the area of ocean beyond national jurisdiction - cover nearly 50% of the Earth's surface.
  • The area of France's EEZ is set to be extended by 500,000 km2 as a result of the Extraplac programme for extending the limits the continental shelf.
  • 60% of the world's population live less than 60 km from the sea; soon it will be 75%.
  • Studies show that protecting crucial marine habitats - such as coral reefs, underwater plant communities and mangroves - can considerably increase the size and quantity of fish, benefiting both small-scale and commercial fishing.
  • France has established 40 protected marine zones in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean and 7 in the Indian Ocean.
  • The ocean liner France crossed the Atlantic 377 times carrying 600,000 passengers.
  • De Beers extracts diamonds from Namibian waters 200 to 300 metres deep.
  • 1.2 million people live and work permanently at sea on nearly 50,000 ships.
  • The Strait of Malacca and Singapore see more than 70,000 ships pass every year carrying 41% of global container traffic, 50% of iron ore traffic and more than 20% of oil and gas traffic.
  • The naval battle of Lépante on 7 October 1571, which saw several European countries pitched against the Ottoman Empire, put a stop to the latter's expansion.
  • 60% of maritime borders are not demarcated.
  • More than 97% of all the water on our planet is found in the oceans.