What is the composition of the French and international merchant marine?

On 1 July 2021, the French merchant navy had 424 ships with a gross tonnage of more than 100 (in U.M.S. which is equivalent to 2,832m3 ).

It consists of a transport fleet of 191 vessels and a maritime services fleet of 233 vessels. This French merchant navy fleet is divided between the different identification flags of the national competition: French International Register and the overseas registers (French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna).


The international merchant navy is made up of 90,000 vessels. Pleasure boating is made up of 13 million boats.

As for the French national navy, in terms of numbers this is equivalent to 42,000 people and a fleet of 120 vessels of over 100 tonnes. France also has, like Great Britain, an aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulles, which is the only one to be nuclear-powered.

According to a report by the Institut Supérieur d’Economie Maritime de Nantes et de Saint Nazaire, there are 1.5 million seafarers in the world today. In fact, according to the International Labour Organisation, the vast majority of seafarers (excluding the fishing and hotel industries) are in countries outside the OECD. China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, India and Ukraine are the six states that provide the most manpower to the merchant navy.