KENNESAW, Ga. – During the 2023 American Boating Congress (ABC), May 8-10 in Washington, D.C., Yamaha and other industry leaders conducted dozens of meetings on Capitol Hill educating legislators about the benefits of sustainable marine fuel, the need to mitigate aquatic invasive species, and the industry’s desire to deploy technical solutions to reduce the risk of vessel strikes to marine mammals.
“The recreational boating industry is making strides to reduce CO2 emissions, especially by paving the way for sustainable marine fuels in the marketplace,” said Martin Peters, Director Marine External Affairs, Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit. “We went to Capitol Hill to advocate for sustainable fuels and other practical solutions for industry challenges. Legislators listened, but there is much more work to do.”
Introduction of Sustainable Marine Fuel
The recreational marine industry must plan to decarbonize its products to meet customer and regulatory expectations and, in order to do so, must explore multiple solutions. Because boats require 10 times more energy to move through water than cars through the air, the energy density of today’s battery technology is not great enough to support electrification of larger Yamaha outboard motors and other internal combustion products.
Sustainable marine fuels are compatible with all existing recreational boats with no required changes to the boat fuel system or engine. These fuels remain the only solution for the existing 12 million boaters to immediately reduce carbon emissions without waiting for fleet turnover. Recreational marine engines retire at a rate of about 2 percent, which means the industry retains a significantly older fleet relative to automotive. Since 75 percent of the global recreational marine fleet were produced prior to 2010, using sustainable marine fuels in the legacy fleet will significantly lower CO2 emissions immediately.
Yamaha and members of the marine industry are pursuing several solutions to decarbonization, including electrification of lower horsepower products, hydrogen fuel, and sustainable marine fuels. The industry’s pursuit to reduce carbon emissions will require further support from legislators and regulators.
Mitigation of Aquatic Invasive Species
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) continue to devastate habitat, fish populations and fishing access. During the past 18 months, Yamaha leadership and Yamaha Pro Fishing Anglers participated in an Aquatic Invasive Species Commission in response to concerns from customers and conservation partners. The Commission produced a comprehensive report in March 2023 with several priorities including updates to AIS federal law and policy, increased federal funding to assist in AIS mitigation at regional and watershed levels and increased public education and engagement about the dangers of AIS.
Funding to Monitor Whales/Opposition to NOAA®’s Proposed Vessel Speed Restriction
Yamaha and other marine industry stakeholders advocate that Congress fund the authorized near real-time monitoring and mitigation program for threatened or endangered whales. Funding the monitoring and mitigation program will encourage government and private technologies to develop tools to protect sensitive marine species for generations to come. Language pending before the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittees in both the House and Senate will fund a $5 million investment in the program for FY 2024.
For more information about Yamaha’s message during the 2023 ABC, visit https://vimeo.com/824742148/ebd0048610?share=copy.
Yamaha’s U.S. Marine Business Unit, based in Kennesaw, Ga., is responsible for the sales, marketing, and distribution of Yamaha Marine products in the U.S. including Yamaha Outboards, Yamaha WaveRunners®, Yamaha Boats, G3® Boats and Skeeter® Boats. Supporting 2,400 dealers and boat builders nationwide, Yamaha is an industry leader in reliability, performance, technology and customer service.