Project number: 2006-229
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $72,000.00
Principal Investigator: John Wakeford
Organisation: Australian Maritime College (AMC)
Project start/end date: 13 May 2007 - 1 Sep 2008


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 others (i.e. passive methods such as longlining and trap fishing). In each case however, rising fuel prices still impinge on the profitability of the operation, and ultimately put its viability in jeopardy.

The Australian Fishing industry has to undertake an energy audit. This is not a new process. Land-based businesses, both large and small, have been doing this for years.

Some good results have been achieved. Importantly, it has been proven to work. Even in businesses where managers and owners are convinced they are very efficient energy users.

So why do energy audits usually lead to tangible benefits for the businesses undertaking them? Well, put simply, running a business such as fishing boat, keeps people busy, and as much as these people try to keep abreast of technological improvements and alternative methods that can reduce energy usage, they usually escape detection or adoption for some time.

In contrast, qualified auditors are in the business of saving energy. They draw on data from previous audits on similar businesses, have a supporting base of well-qualified technical advisors in relevant areas, and may draw on government assistance.

Government agencies such as the Sustainable Energy Authority and EPA support energy audits because they do have the potential to reduce energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions, and importantly make Australian businesses more competitive.

Governments also realise that audits typically draw a taskforce of suitably qualified people together, which over time can be expanded and enhanced. Ultimately this strengthens the foundation of the industry it services.

Supporting this project will therefore assist with achieving these benefits.


1. 1. Adapt an existing land-based-infrastructure energy-audit process to suit certain types of fishing vessel.
2. 2. Undertake a trial energy audit (Level 1 and possibly Level 2, see Appendix 1) of up to six different types of fishing vessel.
3. 3. Present the tailored audit process, the audit findings, the energy management matrixes for each vessel type, and also provide recommendations for future work.

Final report

ISBN: 978 1 86295 594 3
Author: John Wakeford

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