Carbon dioxide emissions from global fisheries larger than previously thought | 1/28/2019 | Staff
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Pellizar 133. Credit: O roxo Flickr, Creative Commons.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the fuel burnt by fishing boats are 30 per cent higher than previously reported, researchers with the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia and the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean at the University of Western Australia have found.

Study - Marine - Policy - Scientists - Tonnes

In a study published in Marine Policy, the scientists show that 207 million tonnes of CO2 were released into the atmosphere by marine fishing vessels only in 2016. This is almost the same amount of CO2 emitted by 51 coal-fired power plants in the same timeframe.

"The marine fishing industry relies heavily on the use of fossil fuel and its role in global greenhouse gas emissions has been largely ignored from a policy or management perspective," said Krista Greer, lead author of the study and a researcher with the Sea Around Us at UBC. "Until now, the most comprehensive study of carbon dioxide emissions from fishing suggested that for the year 2011, fisheries released 112 million tonnes of CO2 per year from the combustion of fuel during fishing."

Data - Fisheries - Cent - CO2 - Emissions

The previous data implied that fisheries contributed only 0.29 per cent of global CO2 emissions, while the new study indicates that their contribution is almost twice that number. The higher values are largely due to the UBC-UWA research considering regional differences in fuel use based on fishing effort and the amount of fuel used to catch 30 million tonnes of fish that were not reported in 2016.

Artisanal fishing boats in Panama City. Credit: Valentina Ruiz Leotaud.

Greer - Colleagues - Sea - Us - Catch

To do so, Greer and her colleagues used the Sea Around Us' global catch and fishing effort database, which allowed them to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by each boat operating...
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