Commercial Fishing Adds To Climate Change More Than Thought

By on March 16, 2016
Fishing trawler. (Credit: bertknot via Creative Commons 2.0)

Despite a move toward cleaner practices, research out of the University of California, Merced, finds that the commercial fishing industry is a bigger contributor to climate change than once thought. Scientists at the university say that is due to things like the use of diesel fuel to power boats and other dirty practices.

The big fishing vessels also push out pollutants like sulfur oxides or black carbon, a type of soot. In the Arctic, scientists found that these fishing vessels are the largest emitters of black carbon.

Researchers also combined catch records with the typical amount of fuel needed to catch different species of fish, allowing for accurate calculations of pollutants. These were compared to the results of previous studies to reveal that older analyses had likely underestimated the emissions.

Full results of the effort are published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Top image: Fishing trawler. (Credit: bertknot via Creative Commons 2.0)

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