Fishing Vessel Energy Efficiency Initiative for the Newfoundland and Labrador Inshore Harvesting Sector

Lay Summary 

Soaring fuel prices are having a dramatic impact on the profitability of the traditional fishing enterprise in Newfoundland and Labrador and threaten the economic viability of the harvesting sector. The prospect of sustained high fuel prices in the future provoked interest from industry and sectoral stakeholders in examining possible energy efficiency strategies to reduce the cost of fuel. The main purpose of the project was to identify a program of activities that will address the need for fuel cost savings in the harvesting sector. A principal objective was to focus on initiatives that that can be implemented in the short term and provide measurable fuel savings for fish harvesters. The project covered the needs of the whole inshore fleet from the 89’-11” vessel down to the small boats.

A comprehensive program of initiatives has been developed utilizing the expertise and input of a multidisciplinary group involving representatives of the FFAW, DFA, DFO, MI and MUN. The key program elements were:

1) Literature Search of energy efficiency initiatives undertaken in other fisheries jurisdictions to supplement project components and avoid unnecessary duplication;

2) Design Modifications: This component involved research and analysis of the potential benefits of modifying existing vessel hulls and/or making changes to vessel hull and propulsion system;

3) Operational Considerations: This component explored operational changes that can be made to improve energy efficiency without significantly altering the vessel or equipment;

4) Fishing Technology: A cost benefit analysis of utilizing fish trawl sensor technology was undertaken;

5) Vessel Simulations: To better understand the areas of potential fuel savings, a physical audit of three vessels was conducted, which was useful in determining which fuel reduction alternatives are most practical and can be implemented in the short term;

6) Industry Survey: In this component the FFAW held eight to ten regional meetings with harvesters to collect information and perspectives from fishermen on fuel costs and energy efficiency as they apply to the industry overall and to their specific vessel operation. In addition, the FFAW will conduct a telephone survey of its members to explore options and strategies to reduce fuel consumption. The estimated response rate for this survey is 20% of its members.

A synopsis of each of the vessel and energy efficiency topics will be printed on fact sheets for dissemination to harvesters for information and reference purposes. In addition the fact sheet will be available in electronic format on the web sites of the project participants, CCFI, FFAW, DFA, Memorial University Faculty of Engineering’s Ocean Engineering Research Centre.

The fact sheets cover the following topics:

Bulbous Bows and Anti-Roll-Tanks
Hull and Engine Maintenance
Hull Modifications
Propulsion and Shafting
New Vessel Considerations
Fishing Gear Efficiency
Small Vessels
Benefits of Reducing Vessel Speed

Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science
Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources
St. John's
Newfoundland and Labrador
Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering
Energy Efficiency
Industry Sectors 
Fishing, Hunting and Trapping
Scientific Research and Development Services
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
Start date 
1 Jan 2008
End date 
31 Dec 2009