Fisheries to cut greenhouse emissions

The domestic fisheries sector has set itself the target of reducing gas emissions, particularly in aquaculture activities, by 20 per cent over the next 10 years.

Officials with the Viet Nam Research Institute for Aquaculture (RIA) said the fisheries sector in general and aquaculture in particular have made important contributions to the national economy, but they were also guilty of polluting the environment with greenhouse emissions.

In 2010, the aquaculture sector recorded an output of 2.8 million tonnes but they also produced about 4.33 million tonnes of Carbon dioxide (C02), experts estimated.

They also estimated that the sector’s gas emissions would reach 6.66 million tonnes by 2015 and 8.33 million tonnes by 2020 if farming conditions are unchanged.

In Viet Nam, the use of fossil fuel energy in aquaculture is common. Petroleum products including petrol, diesel oil and kerosene are used for several purposes including feeding, pumping water, aeration of ponds and harvesting.

These activities accounted for 80 to 90 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions by the sector, RIA experts said.

Apart from aquaculture, the fishing industry also emits a significant volume of greenhouse gases.

In recent years, the fishing industry has developed rapidly, but small, low-capacity fishing still accounts for up to 84 per cent of its fleet. Eighty eight per cent of these vehicles operate near the shore and 88.58 per cent use old engines.

The country now has 700 shipbuilding establishments with a combined capacity of making 4,000 boats and repairing 8,000 boats per year. But they cannot build fishing vessels with new technology that reduces gas emissions.

To reduce gas emissions by the sector reduction target, RIA has prepared a seven-pronged plan that will be applied to aquaculture farms.

Suggested measures

The proposed measures include reducing the use of fossil energy fuels and increasing that of renewable energy sources; improving production efficiency and farm management; and effectively transforming available sources including residues to create biomass that will be used for fishing and aquaculture activities.

They suggest close co-operation between fishing enterprises, logistics firms and seafood processors operating in an area to increase operational efficiency and use less energy.

RIA deputy director Phan Thi Van said greenhouse gas emissions was a problem not only in Viet Nam but also other countries in the world.

The Government should facilitate co-operation with other countries, particularly experts at universities and research institutes, to share experiences and exchange information in order to introduce more effective measures to minimise greenhouse gas emissions, she said.

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