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Fuel performance and carbon footprint of the global purse seine tuna fleet


Parker, RWR and Vazquez-Rowe, I and Tyedmers, PH, Fuel performance and carbon footprint of the global purse seine tuna fleet, Journal of Cleaner Production, 103 pp. 517-524. ISSN 0959-6526 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.05.017


Modern commercial fisheries are heavily dependent on the input of fossil fuels throughout their supply chains, particularly diesel inputs to fishing vessels. Fuel use intensity of fisheries varies with regard to target species, gears employed, region of fishing, technologies used, skipper behaviour, and other factors. Those fisheries that consume relatively less fuel not only have a lower carbon footprint, up to the point of landing, but are also in a favourable position to meet future fuel and emissions regulations, and may be more resilient to the effects of volatile fuel prices and limited oil resources. We measured fuel inputs to purse seining vessels targeting primarily skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) and yellowfin (Thunnus albacores) tuna. Data reported represent 28% of worldwide landings of skipjack and yellowfin by purse seiners in 2009. These vessels burned, on average, 368 L of fuel per tonne of wet weight landings. This corresponds to a fuel-related carbon footprint of 1.1 kg CO2 per landed kg of tuna, lower than that of average marine capture fisheries as well as most forms of land-based animal protein production. Interestingly, the use of FADs in purse seine fisheries for tuna was found to be inversely correlated with efficiency, going against conventional logic that FAD use improves efficiency. This study is the largest snapshot of tuna fuel inputs to date, providing a baseline against which future performance can be measured, and an indicator for consumers concerned about the carbon footprint of their food choices.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:tuna fisheries, energy use, fuel use, life cycle assessment, purse seine, FADs
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental assessment and monitoring
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Consumption patterns, population issues and the environment
UTAS Author:Parker, RWR (Mr Robert Parker)
ID Code:106026
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2016-01-25
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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