Knowledge for better food systems

Assessing Alternative Technologies: LCA of Salmonid Culture Systems in Canada

This study, 'Assessing Alternative Aquaculture Technologies: Life Cycle Assessment of Salmonid Culture Systems in Canada', employed life cycle assessment (LCA) to quantify and compare the potential environmental impacts of culturing salmonids in a conventional marine net-pen system with those of three reportedly environmentally-friendly alternatives; a marine floating bag system; a land-based saltwater flow through system; and a land-based freshwater recirculating system.
This study, 'Assessing Alternative Aquaculture Technologies: Life Cycle Assessment of Salmonid Culture Systems in Canada', employed life cycle assessment (LCA) to quantify and compare the potential environmental impacts of culturing salmonids in a conventional marine net-pen system with those of three reportedly environmentally-friendly alternatives; a marine floating bag system; a land-based saltwater flow through system; and a land-based freshwater recirculating system. Results of the study indicate that while the use of these closed-containment systems may reduce the local ecological impacts typically associated with net-pen salmon farming, the increase in material and energy demands associated with their use may result in significantly increased contributions to several environmental impacts of global concern, including global warming, non-renewable resource depletion, and acidification. It is recommended that these unanticipated impacts be carefully considered in further assessments of the sustainability of closed-containment systems and in ongoing efforts to develop and employ these technologies on a larger scale. Ayer, N. and P. Tyedmers (2009) “Assessing Alternative Aquaculture Technologies: Life Cycle Assessment of Salmonid Culture Systems in Canada” Journal of Cleaner Production. 17(3): 362-373. This paper is attached below.