With the continuous aggravation of marine exploitation, it is significant to maintain the sustainable development of the marine social economy and ecological environment. Seven typical types of marine exploitation activities in China were screened to evaluate their comprehensive benefits, with the aim of selecting the activities that are suitable for priority development. Concretely, an evaluation index system, including the economic benefit index, social benefit index, resource depletion index and environmental cost index, was established. The combined weight of each index was calculated by the Delphi method and analytic hierarchy process (AHP), and a comprehensive benefit evaluation model was constructed for assessment. The results showed that marine secondary industry has the highest comprehensive benefit, followed by marine tertiary industry and marine primary industry. Specifically, the appropriate types of marine exploitation activities should be prioritized as follows: coastal industry (0.7370)>urban construction (0.7188)> offshore wind power (0.6968)>coastal tourism (0.6953)>sewage dumping (0.5973)>open mariculture (0.5822)>enclosed mariculture (0.4687).