The Icelandic fishing industry’s fuel usage totalled 129,000 tonnes during 2019, the lowest figure since records began in 1982, according to figures published by the National Energy Authority.
Fuel consumption for the year turned out to be less than had been predicted from interim figures. The fleet consumed 126,000 tonnes of fuel, which is a 7% reduction on the previous year, while fishmeal production consumed 3000 tonnes, a 63% reduction.
According to industry body SFS, fuel consumption tends to be in proportion to production, although in this instance the reduction in fuel usage is in excess of the level to which exports shrank last year – attributed chiefly to the lack of a capelin season, which also explains to a large extent the fishmeal sector’ reduced fuel consumption.
SFS states that the industry’s fuel consumption has been steadily dropping since the mid-1990s, while export production has fluctuated within certain limits.
“This means that the seafood industry is using half the fuel it burned to catch and process the same amount in the 1990s. In other words, Icelandic fishing companies have managed to reduce fuel consumption without adversely affecting production,” an SFS spokesperson said.
“There are several factors that combine to support this development. These are primarily improved fisheries management, industry investment in equipment and technology, the reduction and the renewal of the fleet with vessels that are more productive, more economic and with a new fuel consumption pattern. The extensive investments made by Icelandic fishing companies has paid a dividend in more environmentally friendly production.”