UK firm proposes hydrogen as fuel for fishing vessels

Concept design of a whitefish trawler powered by hydrogen
Concept design of a whitefish trawler powered by hydrogen (Photo: Fisheries Innovation and Sustainability)

UK-based fisheries technology company Fisheries Innovation and Sustainability (FIS) has released a report on the possibility of utilising hydrogen as fuel for fishing vessels in the UK.

Developed in partnership with local naval architecture firm Macduff Ship Design, and with support from Marine Fund Scotland, the research provides detailed vessel specifications, and – by drawing comparisons with previous research into the opportunities offered by battery-electric power, methanol, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) options – calls for crucial information to help fishing businesses stay competitive as net zero deadlines approach.

This “Stage 3 Concept Design Project” introduces three more innovative vessel designs all powered by hydrogen. By comparing the new specifications with a diesel “parent vessel”, and with previous “Stage 2” designs under the same project, the research offers insights into the financial and operational implications of hydrogen as a fuel source for different vessel types and different fishing patterns.

FIS said that, taking the unique requirements of various fishing vessel types into account, and despite challenges such as increased complexity and reduced range compared to other fuel options, hydrogen remains an attractive option in the future due to its anticipated low cost and widespread availability compared to other alternative fuels.

To support UK fishing vessel owners in transitioning away from fossil fuels such as diesel, the report introduces a roadmap that identifies essential short-, medium-, and long-term actions. These recommendations range from studies on future fuel infrastructure to collaborative projects building vital demonstrator vessels.

The report can be read here.

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