1.1 Background to the Study Fishing is one of the oldest industry known to man, though only the gear and methods of catching fish has been changing with the technological advancement. It is therefore important that any country with a coast line explores and exploits the fishing resources fully both as means of providing more food protein to the population and employment to those in the industry.
Over the past ten years owners of fishing vessels have had their profit margins reduced because the catch yields have decreased while the cost of operations, especially fuel prices, have increased. The owners (of fishing vessels) expressed a desire; through the University of British Columbia and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans; to find, if possible a more efficient method to conduct operations. An obvious recommendation to reduce operating costs would be to decrease vessel speed, which would decrease fuel costs, but this may not be acceptable to operators in all cases. The main problems with speed reduction is a result of fishing seasons being limited in duration, as well as being opened in different areas at different times. Calisal & Oto (1983) produced a computer simulation for fishing vessels operations which would accurately predict the fuel costs for displacement type vessels operating on the West Coast. The computer model included methods to decrease fuel costs that could be retrofitted to the existing ships. The methods included, controllable pitch propellers, two speed gearboxes and kort Nozzles, which would be added to the vessel and possible fuel savings, for a given fishing scenario for each method were calculated. This program can effectively make recommendations to the ship owners, about which method of fuel savings is best to his vessel, but it is for the operators to decide on the method that is the most suitable for their operations. The aim of this study is to examine optimal fishing vessel formulas for the speed; deadweight and power for the optimal design of a fishing vessel to operate within the Nigerian Coastal waters.
1.2 Statement of the Problem Harvesting fish is one of the most energy intensive forms of food production. Fishing industry depends substantially on fossil energy. In addition, recent increases in fuel prices and growing concerns over greenhouse gas emissions have further highlighted the need to improve energy efficiency in the fishing industry. The improvement of the efficiency of the system is directly dependent on the efficiency of the tools utilized in such production. The primary tool utilized by the fishery industry is the fishing vessel or boats with other fishing gears and equipments directly attached to them to enable the fishing production proper. Generally, fishing vessel designs are the front runners in considering the efficiency of such vessels, hence design parameters such as the Speed, Power and deadweight of these vessels are directly related to their efficiency. For instance, fishing power in terms of horse power of the boat engine has been on the raise over recent year owing to the competition prevailing among the fishermen to bring more catch. The trend of increasing the power of the boat engine started with trawlers and then spread to purse seiners and ring seiners (Baiju and Boopendranath, 2014). It has been found that Use of engine with suitable power will pave way to avoid unnecessary initial capital investment and subsequent operational cost. Avoiding engine of overcapacity in fishing boats can reduce fuel consumption which ultimately reduces CO2 emission.