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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    • "Fishing vessels accounted for approximately 1.2% of the worldwide oil consumption and 134 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions in 2000 (Tyedmers et al., 2005). The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI was revised in 2011 to increase the energy efficiency of ships and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by introducing the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) (IMO, accessed 2013a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Operation of the Norwegian fishing fleet in harsh waters is energy demanding. The large amount of fuel consumption combined with the associated fuel costs, emission taxes, environmental concerns, and emission regulations call for improved energy efficiency within fisheries. This study examined the energy efficiency of the Norwegian fishing fleet from 2003 to 2012. The goal of this study was to determine the important statistical characteristics and to facilitate the development of future strategies to improve fuel efficiency. Data analysis was performed with R programme, an open source software for statistical computing. First, vessels with single gear were explored. Ten fleet segments within the demersal and pelagic fisheries were compared. Energy efficiency varied among the segments. Factory trawlers, with a mean fuel use coefficient of 0.354 kg fuel/kg fish, and coastal seiners, with a mean fuel use coefficient of 0.054–0.058 kg fuel/kg fish, were the least and most energy-efficient segments, respectively. Nevertheless, the energy efficiencies of all of the segments have improved over recent years. The effects of catch per unit of fishing effort, total stock biomass, fish quota, and fuel price on energy efficiency were explored for factory trawlers. Correlations between energy efficiency and these factors were found. Fluctuations in energy efficiency were primarily due to changes in fish abundance and availability. Energy efficiency and fuel price showed the weakest long-term correlation. Little evidence of technological improvements, which affect energy efficiency, was found either. Second, the effect of employing multiple gears was explored. Coastal seiners, conventional vessels, and purse seiners with single gear were compared with corresponding vessels with multiple gears. Employing other gears in addition to seine on coastal seiners rendered them less efficient, as the additional gear (e.g., trawl) was more energy demanding. The opposite was observed for conventional vessels: using more efficient gears (e.g., seine) in combination with the main gear made conventional vessels more energy-efficient. Purse seiners with multiple gears used trawl to catch blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou); therefore, the efficiency of the trawl was affected by the fluctuations in blue whiting catch and abundance during the years. The energy efficiency of fisheries may be improved by inclusion of energy efficiency in political goals, improvement in fish stocks, better allocation of quotas, and imposition of fuel and emission taxes. Energy efficiency can be further improved by the introduction of energy-saving technologies and alternative fuel systems.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Cleaner Production
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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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    ABSTRACT: Fisheries globally are facing multiple sustainability challenges, including low fish stocks, overcapacity, unintended bycatch and habitat alteration. Recently, fuel consumption has joined this list of challenges, with increasing consumer demand for low-carbon food production and the implementation of carbon pricing mechanisms. The environmental impetus for improving fishery fuel performance is coupled with economic benefits of decreasing fuel expenditures as oil prices rise. Management options to improve the fuel performance of fisheries could satisfy multiple objectives by providing low-carbon fish products, improving economic viability of the industry, and alleviating pressure on overfished stocks. We explored the association of fuel consumption and fuel costs in a wide range of Australian fisheries, tracking trends in consumption and expenditure over two decades, to determine if there is an economic impetus for improving the fuel efficiency - and therefore carbon footprint - of the industry. In the years studied, Australian fisheries, particularly energy-intensive crustacean fisheries, consumed large quantities of fuel per kilogram of seafood product relative to global fisheries. Many fisheries improved their fuel consumption, particularly in response to increases in biomass and decreases in overcapacity. Those fisheries that improved their fuel consumption also saw a decrease in their relative fuel expenditure, partially counteracted by rising oil prices. Reduction in fuel use in some Australian fisheries has been substantial and this has resulted not from technological or operational changes but indirectly through fisheries management. These changes have mainly resulted from management decisions targeting ecological and economic objectives, so more explicit consideration of fuel use may help in extending these improvements.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Cleaner Production
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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:
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