The report offers several solutions that make the EU goals for a climate neutral fishing fleet by 2050 realistically attainable.
In the European Green Deal, the EU Commission has set the laudatory goals of a 30% cut in the EU fishing fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 2005 and transitioning the fleet to become climate neutral by 2050. Many countries are well on the way by, for example, scrapping ageing vessels that may be serviceable but are fuel-inefficient, but some see the costs as daunting. A new report by Oceana, “A pathway to decarbonize the EU fisheries sector by 2050,” describes several solutions that make the EU goals realistically attainable. These solutions range from the broad—removing fishing methods such as bottom trawling that besides stirring the ocean bottom and releasing greenhouse gases, are so fuel-inefficient that vessels currently require government subsidies to stay in business anyway—to the narrow—support for new technologies in hull and engine design, promotion of electric over hydraulic mechanisms, and even simple improvements in preventive maintenance schedules, all of which can reduce vessel fuel consumption. These technologies already exist but their implementation requires EU assistance.
Oceana’s report is available at https://europe.oceana.org/reports/a-pathway-to-decarbonise-the-eu-fisheries-sector-by-2050/.