At a time when fuel prices are concentrating minds across the industry, Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FIS) last week tapped into a variety of expert opinion in an open-minded one-day workshop looking at the ‘Vessels of the Future’, reports Andy Read.

Director of FIS Kara Brydson told Fishing News: “At the workshop we took a first step towards ensuring that the fishing industry’s perspective is included in discussions on reducing vessel emissions and reaching net zero in Scotland.

“This was a safe space for colleagues to discuss some difficult issues, and explore ideas from around Scotland, elsewhere in the UK, and Norway.”

More than 40 different experts attended the workshop in Glasgow, to discuss a wide range of issues, from experiences of electrification of boats, to hull and engine design, advances in gear technology, and possible changes to legislation. Expert input ranged from Scottish skippers to university academics, naval architects and supermarket buyers.

A number of experts including representatives from Seafish, the MCA and marine engineering companies also supported a variety of break-out discussions during the day, with an emphasis on cross-sectoral inputs. Discussions tackled the best ways to support the fishing industry to move towards a lower-carbon future, with benefits to the bottom line, as well as to the wider environment.

Fishing News will feature a full report of the discussions as the various inputs and talks from the day are pulled together.

Kara Brydson told Fishing News: “There will be a post- workshop report based on the day’s discussions to present ideas for practical and relevant ways to support our industry. We’ll look forward to making this available across industry, and to starting a wider debate about the opportunities we discussed in this open workshop.

“We’re very grateful to the 40-plus attendees who all provided different expertise and experience to the workshop. This is a great first step to develop a fair and realistic way to support the catching sector transition to a lower-carbon future.”

FIS chairman John Goodlad said: “With Scotland committed to net-zero emissions by 2045, and with diesel prices going through the roof, this event was certainly timely.

“Achieving net zero will be challenging to say the least. The fishing industry, however, starts from a very good place, with the lowest carbon footprint of all the protein producers.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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