Scotland’s Fisheries Management Strategy 2020-2030 commits to taking action to understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change on Scotland’s seas, one key aspect being to establish a “baseline [emission] per fleet segment”. The information available prior to this project does not provide sufficiently up-to-date data to define this baseline. 

This study assesses greenhouse gas emissions by vessel type. The emissions of interest are constrained to those associated with energy use on the vessel. Emissions associated with onshore activities, from transport and refrigeration, are considered out of the scope.

Key findings
  • In general, the longer a vessel is, the more fossil fuel is used to power the vessel and the more it emits per day of activity. The vessel types with highest emissions in the Scottish fishing fleet are composed of the largest trawlers: whitefish trawlers over 24 metres, pelagic trawlers and large Nephrops trawlers (over 300 kW).
  • The vessels emitting lower GHG per kilogramme of fish landed are large vessels using efficient fishing techniques: demersal seine, pair trawl, pair seine, and pelagic trawl.
  • The vessels emitting lower GHG per £ pound sterling landed are almost all in passive gear segment under 12 metres long, with the exception of large pelagic trawlers.