Stakeholder Consultation Feedback
Eleven responses were received to the online questionnaire. Two separate email responses were also received, therefore thirteen responses in total. The key findings are presented in the format of the questionnaire and summarised below.
4.1 Physical changes to the fishing vessel to reduce fuel use or to increase fuel efficiency
Of the survey respondents, 69 % who answered this question have made physical changes to their fishing vessel to reduce fuel use or to increase fuel efficiency. This was achieved by replacing the vessel as a whole, replacing parts within the vessels or changing the shape of the vessel. Other changes to the vessel included painting new antifouling onto the vessel, using electric cranes or a full electric deck machinery package, or using lightened trawl gear. For the vast majority of respondents, the reasoning behind these changes were due to saving costs and reducing emissions. One respondent stated that such changes were beneficial to reduce both costs and emissions, but also stated that such changes undertaken by the respondent were to ensure the vessel was under IMO requirements.
4.2 Alternative fuels
Of the survey respondents, 23 % who answered this question agreed that an initial investment was needed to change to an alternative fuel. However, it was not possible to assess whether these respondents have considered using such fuels. A lower percentage stated that they did not know enough about how to make these changes. Other respondents are looking into the use of alternative fuels by watching developments in other countries or they thought that the concept needed to be further improved and developed to ensure the technology and safety of the crew were up to standard.
4.3 Fishing practices changes to reduce fuel use or increase fuel efficiency
Of the survey respondents, 71 % who answered this question had changed fishing practices to reduce fuel usage or to increase fuel efficiency. There were a range of different approaches stated by respondents: the use of roller clumps, targeting higher quality fisheries resources, larger mesh size, the use of pelagic trawl doors, the use of pelagic nets, preplanning best speeds to cruise at, where best to fish, and using smaller nets. Respondents said that making cost savings and reducing emissions were equally important reasons for the change in fishing practices. Specific changes to fishing practices that respondents have made include one respondent who reduced the working week at sea to four days to reduce fuel costs while another respondent purchased a larger boat with a view to reaching the quota quicker and therefore spending less time at sea. These changes had mixed results according to respondents with one reporting a decrease in earnings due to less time at sea and issues with securing the best price at the markets. However, one respondent noted a 40 % reduction in fuel costs over a period of 10 years through using a larger vessel, which led to reduced number of trips required to reach the quota.
Of the 46 % of survey respondents who had not made changes to fishing practices, 23 % said they needed an initial investment to consider making these changes.
4.4 Fish and shellfish processing – how working practices have changed to reduce energy/fuel use
Of the survey respondents, 31 % who answered this question were involved in fish and shellfish processing and all said that they have made changes to their working practices to reduce energy or fuel consumption. Some examples were the use of LED lighting, running the lorry every second day and planning return pickups on every delivery. Again, both saving on costs and reducing emissions were felt to be equally important reasons for the changes. Half of those involved in fish and shellfish processing also had changed their work pattern and had become more efficient throughout. The main reason that respondents had not already made changes was due to the need for initial investment.
4.5 Changes to reduce waste/gear loss
Of the survey respondents, 54 % who answered this question said that they recycle old gear to smaller vessels or recycle onshore; one fishing vessel company had tried to cut microplastics out of wrapped creels. Respondents said that making cost savings and reducing emissions were equally important reasons for the changes. Respondents indicated that recycling fishing gear and reducing gear loss had increased the lifespan of the fishing gear, with one respondent noting a near doubling of the lifetime of their gear. One respondent referenced net monitoring technologies which could increase the lifespan but noted that large initial investment would be required to implement this specific change. 29 % of respondents stated that there was no need to make any changes to reduce gear loss, suggesting that measures are already in place; 43 % noted a need for initial investment.
4.6 The use of local markets
Only 20 % of survey respondents who answered this question said that they used the local market. Of those who did not use the local market (80 %), this was predominantly due to the local market not being physically large enough to house the catch from the fleet. One respondent changed to selling to the closest buyer to ensure a decrease in lorry use and thereby fuel costs and reduced emissions. 75 % of respondents stated that the main reason for not making any change was due to the need for initial investment. All respondents said that making cost savings and reducing emissions were equally important reasons for the changes.
4.7 Changes to refrigeration/freezer systems to increase energy efficiency
Of survey respondents, 29 % who answered this question had already made changes to their refrigeration/freezer systems to increase energy efficiency, while the remainder were either looking into it, needed investment or had not changed anything. 60 % of respondents noted that both cost savings and reducing emissions were equally important, while 40 % referenced the need to ensure compliance with regulations. All those who had not made changes stated that initial investment was required to facilitate changes in refrigeration/freezer systems.
4.8 Stock resilience and impacts of climate change on fish stocks
All respondents who answered this question were aware of stock resilience, as well as avoiding fishing within nursery/breeding grounds. Over half believed that there needs to be better use and acquisition of scientific data (for example the use of Remote Electronic Monitoring to gather data at sea), along with flexible management, fishing licenses and better compliance monitoring within the Scottish fishing industry. 23 % were worried about the risk from wind farms to the fishing industry and stocks, with developments such as ScotWind seen as taking away their normal fishing grounds or being planned within spawning/nursery grounds and therefore threatening future stock resilience. Respondents also mentioned further attention to fisherman's reports, tighter regulations on fishing vessels within the UK and distributing the quota to the younger generation.
4.9 Changes to consumer behaviour to address climate change impacts
The survey respondents were asked if they thought specific measures should be put in place to change consumer behaviour to address climate change impacts. Responses included references to the relatively low carbon footprint of fishing compared to other food industries, and how consumers should be encouraged to eat more fish as it is considered a healthy source of nutrition. One respondent referenced the need for better marketing campaigns on local and national levels to create a greater awareness of the health benefits and where to source locally fished species.
4.10 Other approaches that have been taken or have knowledge of to reduce or mitigate fisheries climate change impacts
The key approach that the survey respondents recommended is using fishing representatives to advise on new developments, for example location of offshore windfarms. One such example given is the Future Fisheries Alliance which set out a blueprint for achieving climate smart fisheries. The survey also establishes that Shetland already upgrade and invest in new fishing boats regularly. Respondents also recommended diversifying inshore fisheries to both trawl and fixed gear. They also emphasized that fisheries have a smaller impact in comparison to other developments, for example the oil and gas industry.
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