Fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions from offshore fisheries of the Republic of Korea
Park, J-A and Gardner, C and Chang, M-I and Kim, D-H and Jang, Y-S, Fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions from offshore fisheries of the Republic of Korea, PLoS ONE, 10, (8) Article e0133778. ISSN 1932-6203 (2015) [Refereed Article]
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from the offshore fisheries industry in the Republic of Korea (Korea) were examined in response to growing concerns about global warming and the contribution of emissions from different industrial sectors. Fuel usage and GHG emissions (CO2, CH4, N2O) were analysed using the ‘Tier 1’ method provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from the offshore fishery, which is the primary domestic seafood production sector in Korea. In 2013, fuel usage in the offshore fishery accounted for 59.7% (557,463 KL) of total fuel consumption of fishing vessels in Korea. Fuel consumption and thus GHG emissions were not stable through time in this industry, increasing by 2.4% p.a. for three consecutive years, from 2011 to 2013, despite a decrease in the number of vessels operating. GHG emissions generated in offshore fisheries also changed through time and increased from 1,442,975 tCO2e/year in 2011 to 1,477,279 tCO2e/year in 2013. Changes in both fuel use and GHG emissions per kg offshore fish production appeared to be associated with decreasing catch rates by the fleet, which in turn were a reflection of decrease in fish biomass. Another important feature of GHG emissions in this industry was the high variation in GHG emission per kg fish product among different fishing methods. The long line fishery had approximately three times the emissions of the average production while the jigging fishery was more than two times higher than the average. Lowest emissions were from the trawl sector, which is regarded as having greatest environmental impact using traditional biodiversity metrics although had lowest environmental impact in terms of fuel and GHG emission metrics used in this study. The observed deterioration in fuel efficiency of the offshore fishery each year is of concern but also demonstrates that fuel efficiency can change, which shows there is opportunity to improve efficiency with changes to fishery management and harvesting operations.
greenhouse gas emmissions, fuel consumption, trawl fishery, longline