A Review of Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Worldwide Hake Fishing

  • Ian Vázquez-RoweEmail author
  • Pedro Villanueva-Rey
  • Mª Teresa Moreira
  • Gumersindo Feijoo
Part of the EcoProduction book series (ECOPROD)


Food production has been repeatedly highlighted as one of the most important sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. Within the food sector, there is a wide range of heterogeneous products that should be analyzed individually in order to understand the potential role of each one in global warming. In parallel, the fishing industry, which is essentially part of the food sector, has been shown to represent approximately 1.2 % of the world’s GHG emissions. However, the impact of individual fishing species remains widely unexplored in terms of their contributions to climate change. Therefore, this chapter focuses on calculating the carbon footprint (CF) of the most widely consumed fishing product in Spain: hake. For this, an aggregation of six different fishing fleets, which account for a high percentage of the final hake landings by the entire Spanish fleet, were analyzed. Results are presented using several methodological assumptions, including the assessment method framework and allocation. In addition, the results are also presented individually per fishing fleet, fishing gear, and hake species. Finally, the individual CFs of each hake species are used to calculate the lump sum for hake landings in Spain. The discussion of the results focuses on highlighting the main inputs contributing to GHG emissions, as well as specific improvement actions to reduce the impacts of these vessels. Furthermore, the interrelation between CF and other environmental impacts, namely the impact on stock biomass, and the influence of methodological choices on the results presented, constitute two important topics for further analysis.


Carbon footprint European hake Fuel use intensity Merluccius spp. 



This chapter was developed thanks to funding from the Galician Government (Project reference: GRC 2010/37). The authors would like to thank Pescanova SA for the data disclosed for some of the fisheries examined.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Vázquez-Rowe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pedro Villanueva-Rey
    • 1
  • Mª Teresa Moreira
    • 1
  • Gumersindo Feijoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of TechnologyUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Peruvian LCA Network, Faculty of EngineeringPontificia Universidad Católica del PerúLimaPeru

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