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Fish in ships!

23/11/2018
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That’s not a headline I ever expected to write to be honest, but thanks to increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions, particularly from the transport sector, Norwegian company Hurtigruten is using dead fish to keep its fleet of cruise ships on the open sea.
Hurtigruten has pledged to run a third of their 17 ship on eco-friendly fuel sources by 2021.
(Image via Hurtigurten AS).

Hurtigruten is a long-established cruise liner company, having been in existence for 125 years, however they are clearly keen to stay with the times- and as part of their efforts to be more environmentally friendly have pledged to begin operating roughly a third of their 17 ships on a combination of liquefied natural gas, biogas, battery packs and… dead fish, by 2021.

So where do the dead fish come in?

Liquefied biogas- fossil-free, renewable gas produced from dead fish and other organic waste.

Renewable biogas is a clean source of energy, considered the most eco-friendly fuel currently available. Biogas is already used as fuel in small parts of the transport sector, especially in buses. Northern Europe and Norway, which has large fishery and forestry sectors that produce a steady volume of organic waste are angling to become world-leaders in biogas production.
Fish scraps are a major ingredient in liquefied biogas which will be used to run the next generation of cruise ships
(Image via Hurtigurten AS).

Commenting on the plans, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam, said:

“While competitors are running on cheap, polluting heavy fuel oil, our ships will literally be powered by nature. Biogas is the greenest fuel in shipping, and will be a huge advantage for the environment. We would love other cruise companies to follow”.

High-sulphur fuel favoured by the majority of the shipping industry has been found to produce sulphur oxides, a contributor to the acidification of seas and rain. Concern over the issue has resulted in the International Maritime Organisation to set a 0.5% sulphur limit on marine fuel by 2020. A 2017 report from the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) found that a mid-size cruise ship can use well over 100 tons of fuel a day, producing as much particulate as a million cars.

Hurtigruten is embarking on a huge push to become the ‘world’s greenest cruise company’, investing over $850 million in innovation and green tech. Hurtigruten is currently building three hybrid powered expedition cruise ships at Norway’s Kleven Yard. MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen and the third, unnamed sister, will be delivered in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
High-sulphur fuel favoured by the majority of shipping has been found to produce high levels of particulate matter
(Image via Hurtigurten AS).

“This is just the beginning. Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise line, that comes with a responsibility. Sustainability will be a key driver for the new era of shipping and the travel industry. Hurtigruten’s unmatched investments in green technology and innovation sets a new standard for the whole industry to follow. Our ultimate goal is to operate our ships completely emission free,” said Skjeldam.

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