In spring of 2021 Fisheries Innovation Scotland contracted MarFishEco in collaboration with the MarineSPACE group (Heriot-Watt University (HWU)) to produce a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventory for Scottish fishing vessels. The objective of the inventory was to understand the emissions produced for each fleet segment and additional characteristics of each fleet segment. Further, the work aimed to inform the development of a practical tool to measure and validate changes in carbon use at an individual vessel level within Scottish fishing sectors.
The MFE and HWU teams collated a robust database and analyses that reported on the current state of the Scottish fleet performance regarding GHG emissions, highlighting their impact relative to other EU fleets. Using data from the Scientific, Technical, and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), MFE-HWU compared the per kg CO2eq efficiency of Scotland’s fleets in five categories: days at sea, landings weight (tonnes), landings value (£), gross profits (£), and mean crew earnings (£). Headline results from the analysis indicate which of Scotland’s fleet segments (defined by vessel length and gear type) are most per kg CO2eq efficient as well as their relative per kg CO2eq emission efficiency for the measures described above.
Through the analyses, the MFE-HWU teams provided an important baseline from which future research and management must be designed. By identifying differences per kg CO2e emission efficiency between fleet segments possible pathways and recommendations for Scotland’s fisheries to move towards reducing fuel-combustion-related CO2eq emissions are clear.
At MarFishEco, we are delighted to have produced this first GHG emission baseline for the Scottish fleet to help start the conversation to develop new management plans that both ensure the sustainable exploitation of resources whilst also minimising GHG emissions. We are excited that the GHG emissions inventory will support Scotland on its path towards sustainable fisheries and national net zero emissions by 2045.