|Decarbonising the fishing sector: Energy efficiency measures and alternative energy solutions for fishing vessels|
The fishing sector is facing major challenges in the accelerating energy crisis, owing to its high dependency on the stable supply of fossil fuels at low prices. This report reviews the literature on drivers of energy use, identifies potential reduction measures and provides an overview of opportunities for using alternative fuels in the fishing sector. Each measure is evaluated in terms of greenhouse gas emission reduction potential and costs, and challenges and policy options that could facilitate implementation. A timeline lists measures that could be implemented in the shorter and longer term, on the basis of scientific and grey literature, projects and expert interviews. A considerable reduction in fuel use could be achieved by utilising existing EU regulations to the full (for instance, by rebuilding stocks and allocating fishing rights in accordance with Article 17 of the Basic Regulation on the common fisheries policy). It is crucial to use economic policy instruments, such as taxes, fees and emission quotas widely, to incentivise the transition. A ban on fossil fuel use in fisheries by 2050 would give clear long-term incentives and create the conditions needed for the transition. Such a policy must be accompanied by well-designed funding opportunities for green investments and compensatory measures to avoid increasing short-term costs. Overall, a systems perspective is needed to achieve an energy-efficient, decarbonised fishing sector, without causing other environmental impacts.