SESSF Industry Development Subprogram: alternative fuels for fishing vessels
University of Tasmania (UTAS)
Laurie O. Goldsworthy
With most of Australia's fish stocks at fully fished or overfished status, there is reduced opportunity for increasing economic returns from larger catches or unexploited resources. As a result, the fishing industry is looking for opportunities to increase its profit margins by reducing the cost of fishing. Generally, fuel is the one single highest operating cost to fishing vessels, accounting for up to 50% of the operating costs of a fishing vessel in Australia. The Australian (and New Zealand) Fishing Industry requires assistance in becoming a more efficient user of energy. Some forms of fishing, such as trawling, expend more fuel per kg of fish landed compared to passive methods such as longlining and trap fishing. In all cases however, rising fuel prices impinge on the profitability of the operations, and ultimately put their viability in jeopardy; this has reach a critical situation for many operators in Australia. The R&D plans and strategies of all advisory bodies to the FRDC contain high priority goals to achieve FRDC’s Industry Development goal (planned outcome):, The commercial sector of the Australian fishing industry is profitable, internationally competitive and socially resilient. This investigation into alternative fuels for the fishing industry, some of which also achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions, has the intention of improving the economic viability of fishing enterprises and shifting the industry towards a more secure position with respect to future fuel needs.
1. Demonstrate the feasibility of Marine Gas Oil (or other lower cost distillates) in fishing vessel engines, as a cheaper form of petroleum based diesel fuel.
2. Investigate the technical feasibility of fishoil as a biofuel source related directly to the activities of the industry.
3. Evaluate LPG as a relatively user friendly option with established supply chain, and detail the required technology in the context of fishing vessels.
4. Evaluate natural gas (LNG, CNG) as a prospect for significant fuel cost savings, and detail the required technology in the context of fishing vessels.
Principal Investigator: Dr Laurie Goldsworthy