In recent years, the Chinese government has been increasingly supportive of the development of the ocean economy, implementing several national ocean-related strategies. For the first time, China's 12th five-year Plan for National and Social Development (2011-2015) includes "developing the ocean economy" as a key national development strategy for the country. Because of this, the demand for ocean economic statistics and indicators is growing rapidly. The aim of this paper is to define and quantify the value of the major ocean industries in China and to examine the growth in the major Chinese ocean industries in the period 2001 to 2010. The paper also outlines a methodology that provides a robust quantification of the marine sector over time. It finds that in 2010 the major ocean industries in China contributed $239.09 billion to the national economy and employed over 9 million individuals. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.