FishBiz Project

Financial and business tools for Alaska commercial seafood harvesters brought to you by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program

Lowering Fuel Costs

Purse Seining. Photo credit Alaska Sea Grant.

Fuel costs are often a significant part of operation overhead, depending on the fishery and equipment needs. Understanding ways to lower fuel consumption can be as effective as installing a new engine. Alaska Sea Grant has several publications on fuel efficiency and understanding other energy systems on your vessel.

Alaska Sea Grant's Fishing Vessel Energy Audits page features an interactive Excel spreadsheet for anlayzing your  vessel's energy output and consumption. The Vessel Fuel Efficiency Resources webpage provides ideas and information on fuel and energy efficiency research. A helpful publication based on this work describes how you can use an energy audit to lower fuel costs and increase efficiency.


Saving Money with Fishing Vessel Audits HOT

Fishing vessel energy audits have resulted in useful hints to reduce overall operation costs. The authors report initial outcomes of a State of Alaska–funded project showing vessel owners how much energy each vessel system and its operations consume—propulsion, electrical, hydraulics, and refrigeration. Based on audits, engineers recommend several energy conservation measures (ECMs) such as slowing down, “right sizing” generators, turning off electrical devices when not needed, declutching hydraulics when not in use, and purchasing premium efficiency compressors. Vessel owners are invited to use energy calculation software tools and participate in audits.

Author Terry Johnson File Size 1.39 MB Download

Finally, in the following publication, Alaska Sea Grant's Terry Johnson reviews changes in vessel operations to improve fuel efficiency.

Fuel-Saving Measures for Fishing Industry Vessels HOT

This bulletin summarizes methods for reducing fuel consumption and saving money, based on published studies and experiences of commercial fishing vessel operators. On the fuel saving checklist are slowing down, keeping the bottom smooth and clean, reducing weight, watching the exhaust, checking propeller and steering, using Internet and AIS to monitor conditions, minimizing travel, keeping boat records and working with wind, tides and currents. Combining these small changes can result in significant improvement in fuel efficiency.

Author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. File Size 1.28 MB Download

Another resource to consider when thinking about improving fuel consumption is the State of Alaska's lending program for engine fuel efficiency upgrades for qualifying Alaska residents.

For more ideas on improving fishing vessel fuel efficiency through operational changes and new technologies, listen a discussion from an online class sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant. Click or download the mp3 file below.