Fueling Global Fishing Fleets

School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
AMBIO A Journal of the Human Environment (Impact Factor: 2.29). 01/2006; 34(8):635-8. DOI: 10.1639/0044-7447(2005)034[0635:FGFF]2.0.CO;2
Source: PubMed


Over the course of the 20th century, fossil fuels became the dominant energy input to most of the world's fisheries. Although various analyses have quantified fuel inputs to individual fisheries, to date, no attempt has been made to quantify the global scale and to map the distribution of fuel consumed by fisheries. By integrating data representing more than 250 fisheries from around the world with spatially resolved catch statistics for 2000, we calculate that globally, fisheries burned almost 50 billion L of fuel in the process of landing just over 80 million t of marine fish and invertebrates for an average rate of 620 L t(-1). Consequently, fisheries account for about 1.2% of global oil consumption, an amount equivalent to that burned by the Netherlands, the 18th-ranked oil consuming country globally, and directly emit more than 130 million t of CO2 into the atmosphere. From an efficiency perspective, the energy content of the fuel burned by global fisheries is 12.5 times greater than the edible-protein energy content of the resulting catch.

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    • "Likewise, energy inputs and emissions in carnivorous aquaculture systems are often dominated by upstream production of fish feeds (Pelletier et al., 2011; Pimentel and Pimentel, 2003; Troell et al., 2004). Tyedmers et al. (2005) estimated that, in the year 2000, the global fishing fleet consumed 42.4 million tonnes of fuel and released over 130 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). Emissions from the burning of fuel by fishing vessels typically outweigh the combined emissions associated with processing, packaging and transporting seafood products (Parker, 2012; Sonesson et al., 2010). "
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    • "While current perceptions of sustainability in seafood are primarily focused on proximate ecological concerns (e.g., eco-certification processes such as Marine Stewardship Council , Kaiser and Edward-Jones, 2006), impacts stemming from the material and energetic demands of industrial fisheries can also be substantial (Pelletier and Tyedmers, 2008), and may be of increasing importance to consumers. For example, the capture and landing phase of wild marine fisheries account for about 1.2% of global oil consumption and directly emit more than 130 million tonnes of CO 2 into the atmosphere each year (Tyedmers et al., 2005). Each step along the supply chain adds to the environmental burden with some products travelling thousands of kilometres before final consumption (Grescoe, 2008; Merino et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: This is an open access article which appeared in a journal published by Elsevier. This article is free for everyone to access, download and read. Any restrictions on use, including any restrictions on further reproduction and distribution, selling or licensing copies, or posting to personal, institutional or third party websites are defined by the user license specified on the article. For more information regarding Elsevier's open access licenses please visit: http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesslicenses
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    • "pollution, habitat destruction, fishing) than offshore areas (Halpern et al., 2008). Highly productive South Atlantic marine fronts tend to accumulate fish biomass, which makes them a target of commercial fisheries (Sakko, 1998; Tyedmers et al., 2005; Lucifora et al., 2012; Alemany. 2013). "
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