Fueling Global Fishing Fleets

P. H. Tyedmers, R. Watson, D. Pauly, (2005). AMBIO: a Journal of the Human Environment 34, 635-638.

Marine fisheries are the most diverse of the major global food-producing sectors, both in terms of their outputs (species landed1) and the technology used2. One characteristic, however, common to nearly all contemporary fisheries is their dependence on fossil fuels. While numerous analyses have been undertaken to quantify fuel inputs to a wide range of fisheries3,4,5,6,7,8, to date, no attempt has been made to determine the fossil fuel consumption of the world’s fishing fleets. Here, we calculate that for 2000, they burned approximately 56.7 billion litres of fuel in the process of landing just over 85 million tonnes of marine fish and invertebrates. Consequently, contemporary fisheries yield approximately 1.77 tonnes of fish per tonne of fuel burned. Moreover, total fuel inputs to the world’s fishing fleets account for about 1.4% of total global oil consumption.

0044-7447, http://www.ecomarres.com/downloads/ambio.pdf