Carbon footprint data for wild-caught fishTrackwell’s Hafsyn system logs fuel and catch data, generating an analysis of carbon released per kilo of fish caught. Photo: Trackwell

Some Icelandic fishing companies are preparing to provide information on the carbon footprint for wildly caught fish products. Providing this information allows a more holistic approach for consumers and businesses to assess the sustainability of seafood, according to Icelandic tech company Trackwell.

To achieve this, it has to be possible to measure the carbon footprint per trip, and eventually to get feedback to be able to act accordingly.  A key factor is fuel, both as a contributor to carbon emissions and as an operating cost – making reducing fuel consumption beneficial to both the environment and the bottom line.

Hafsyn, developed by Trackwell, is working with many fishing operators in the North-Atlantic, providing a system that tracks catch and fishing activity data collected by electronic logbooks. It monitors catch value along with the effort and cost by logging the speed, distance travelled, towing times, and fuel consumption per haul. This provides a correlation between fuel burned and catch to provide an analysis of actual benefits, plus carbon per kilogram of catch.

All this data from Hafsyn is accessible anywhere online, through a secured web portal, giving users access to historical data and effective decision making, no matter where they are.

Iceland’s fishing industry is on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. In 1990, the industry was responsible for 19.5% of national emissions for carbon and methane, some of the main contributors to global climate change. By 2014 this had dropped to 9.7%. The industry has already cut its use of fossil fuels by 43% compared to 1990, while maintaining the gross export value of catch.

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