Effects of fishing effort allocation scenarios on energy efficiency and profitability: an individual-based model applied to Danish fisheries

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Global concerns about CO2 emissions, national CO2 quotas, and rising fuel prices are incentives for the commercial fishing fleet industry to change their fishing practices and reduce fuel consumption, which constitutes a significant part of fishing costs. Vessel-based fuel consumption, energy efficiency (quantity of fish caught per litre of fuel used), and profitability are factors that we simulated in developing a spatially explicit individual-based model (IBM) for fishing vessel movements. The observed spatial and seasonal patterns of fishing effort for each fishing activity are evaluated against three alternative effort allocation scenarios for the assumed fishermen's adaptation to these factors: (A) preferring nearby fishing grounds rather than distant grounds with potentially larger catches and higher values, (B) shifting to other fisheries targeting resources located closer to the harbour, and (C) allocating effort towards optimising the expected area-specific profit per trip. The model is informed by data from each Danish fishing vessel >15 m after coupling its high resolution spatial and temporal effort data (VMS) with data from logbook landing declarations, sales slips, vessel engine specifications, and fish and fuel prices. The outcomes of scenarios A and B indicate a trade-off between fuel savings and energy efficiency improvements when effort is displaced closer to the harbour compared to reductions in total landing amounts and profit. Scenario C indicates that historic effort allocation has actually been sub-optimal because increased profits from decreased fuel consumption and larger landings could have been obtained by applying a different spatial effort allocation. Based on recent advances in VMS and logbooks data analyses, this paper contributes to improve the modelling of fishing effort allocation, fuel consumption and catch distribution on a much disaggregated level compared to the fleet-based models we developed so far.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFisheries Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)501-516
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of fishing effort allocation scenarios on energy efficiency and profitability: an individual-based model applied to Danish fisheries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this