- GS 3: Economics of animal-rearing.
- Recently, a report titled Environmental performance of blue foods was released as a part of the Blue Food Assessment (BFA).
- The BFA is a collaboration between Sweden-based Stockholm Resilience Centre, United States-based Stanford University and the non-profit EAT.
- The authors of the paper analysed reporting data from more than 1,690 fish farms and 1,000 unique fishery records worldwide.
- The paper noted that seaweeds and farmed bivalves (mussels, oysters, among others) are generating very less greenhouse gas and nutrient emissions and used the least land and water.
- Across assessed blue foods, farmed seaweeds and bivalves generate the lowest emissions, followed by small pelagic capture fisheries, while flatfish and crustacean fisheries produce the highest.
- For fed aquaculture, feed production is responsible for more than 70% of emissions for most groups.
- Nitrogen and phosphorus emissions are responsible for marine and freshwater eutrophication and are highly correlated due to natural biomass N:P ratios.
- Capture fisheries refers to all kinds of harvesting of naturally occurring living resources in both marine and freshwater environments.
- According to the research, capture fisheries also led to few nutrient emissions and use limited land and water.
- Capture fisheries has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through improved management and optimising gear types.
Other aquaculture practices
- Many subsectors among blue foods such as carp and milkfish, also has the potential to improve their carbon footprint through improved farm management, reduced feed conversion ratios and innovative technological interventions.
- Most aquaculture systems have not achieved the levels of efficiency seen in terrestrial production systems, thus leaving substantial opportunities for optimisation and improvements in efficiency and sustainability.