Energy use is of great concern within fisheries, due to both associated environmental effects and the cost of fuel to fishermen. This article explores the scale of energy consumed by most segments of the Norwegian fishing fleet for gadoid fish and for parts of the pelagic fleet for the period 1980-2005. Fuel use is assigned to the different species caught and different fishing gears using economic and mass-based allocation, where data permit. Correlations between variations in energy use and changing catch rates, quotas and oil prices are found. Inverse correlations are found between fuel consumption per kilogram of fish and catch rates on a yearly basis and between fuel consumption and oil prices on a longer term basis. A long term trend towards increased fuel consumption and reduced real prices is observed from the mid 1980s until 2000. This may indicate that low fuel prices do not motivate the development of energy efficient technology in the long run. Increased fuel use may further be used as an indication of over fishing as the correlation between low catch rates and increased fuel consumption is rather strong. Possible means of reducing energy use and emissions are discussed including changing operational strategies, hull forms and the use of alternative energy carriers. A comparison with measures taken in connection with the previous oil crisis around 1980 is done. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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