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The University of Southampton

Research project: Modelling atmospheric pollution emissions from the UK’s recreational and small commercial shipping sector

Currently Active: 

In recent years, the shipping sector has come under increasing scrutiny for its emissions of atmospheric pollutants that have adverse impacts upon human health, the natural environment and climate change. A considerable amount of work has been undertaken by the academic community and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to estimate the extent and impact of these emissions from large commercial shipping activities. However, comparatively little research has been undertaken to quantify atmospheric pollution associated with the recreational and small commercial shipping sector.

Nevertheless, the upcoming MARPOL Annex VI regulations are likely to impact the recreational and small commercial vessels sector substantially; making this an area where research is needed to inform policy makers looking to determine the appropriateness and applicability of emissions regulations to this particular subclass of vessels.

Recreational boats

The University of Southampton’s Carbon Management Group (CMG) and the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) are currently running a project to model emissions of atmospheric pollution from the UK recreational and small commercial shipping sector using a bottom-up, technology- and activity-based approach, due to be completed by the end of 2014.

The project requires the collation of data about the technology, environmental performance and usage patterns of the recreational and small commercial vessels fleet currently operating around the UK. Data is being collected directly from the owners and operators of these watercraft using an in-depth survey to sample the technology and usage patterns of the existing fleet. These data will form the basis of a computer model that will be used to calculate current emissions levels and to explore a range of emissions scenarios based on potential future technological, regulatory and social trends.

In order for this project to be a success, we need the help of the owners and operators of powered recreational boats, fishing vessels, workboats, passenger boats and other small commercial watercraft. We also need the help of organisations with environmental data on the engines and other technologies used in these vessels.

Small commercial watercraft

If you own or operate a recreational or small commercial watercraft, please take 30 minutes to participate in the watercraft owners and operators survey.

Click Here to take survey

To find out more about this project or to discuss ways in which you can get involved, please contact .

About the researcher:

Jonathan Coello left a career in the IT Industry to return to read for a Master of Environment Sciences degree at the University of Southampton in 2007. During the four years he was an Undergraduate, he developed a specialisation in atmospheric pollution and, in particular, carbon footprinting. During his time as an undergraduate Jonathan became a published academic and won multiple awards for his dissertation on biogenic and soil carbon storage in urban environments. He graduated with a first class honours degree and continued directly to postgraduate study.

During his time as a PhD researcher, Jonathan has further developed his IT skills and is now a competent Java, PHP and JavaScript programmer and Android App developer. These IT skills are being used to construct software models for calculating atmospheric pollution emissions and to develop smartphone applications for data crowd-sourcing.

Outside of academia, Jonathan is a keen cyclist, walker, scuba diver and chef and enjoys travelling both locally within Europe and to further-flung destinations when his carbon-consciousness permits.

Related research groups

Carbon Management Research Group
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