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Sci Total Environ. 2010 Oct 15;408(22):5284-94. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.07.082. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

Estimation of the carbon footprint of the Galician fishing activity (NW Spain).

Author information

1
Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. diego.iribarren@rai.usc.es

Abstract

The food production system as a whole is recognized as one of the major contributors to environmental impacts. Accordingly, food production, processing, transport and consumption account for a relevant portion of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with any country. In this context, there is an increasing market demand for climate-relevant information regarding the global warming impact of consumer food products throughout the supply chains. This article deals with the assessment of the carbon footprint of seafood products as a key subgroup in the food sector. Galicia (NW Spain) was selected as a case study. The analysis is based on a representative set of species within the Galician fishing sector, including species obtained from coastal fishing (e.g. horse mackerel, Atlantic mackerel, European pilchard and blue whiting), offshore fishing (e.g. European hake, megrim and anglerfish), deep-sea fishing (skipjack and yellowfin tuna), extensive aquaculture (mussels) and intensive aquaculture (turbot). The carbon footprints associated with the production-related activities of each selected species were quantified following a business-to-business approach on the basis of 1year of fishing activity. These individual carbon footprints were used to calculate the carbon footprint for each of the different Galician fisheries and culture activities. Finally, the lump sum of the carbon footprints for coastal, offshore and deep-sea fishing and extensive and intensive aquaculture brought about the carbon footprint of the Galician fishing activity (i.e., capture and culture). A benchmark for quantifying and communicating emission reductions was then provided, and opportunities to reduce the GHG emissions associated with the Galician fishing activity could be prioritized.

PMID:
20800266
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.07.082
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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