Comparison of farmed and wild caught salmon
Marine and terrestrial biodiversity has become a major concern in recent years. Human activities have been assessed as a threat, in particular to marine ecosystems. In order to limit our impacts, we have no choice but to adapt our eating habits, one of the main causes of the destruction of biodiversity worldwide. While the proportion of fish in the human diet is increasing, what is the impact on ecosystems of the different means of production of seafood products? Our study focuses on the case of salmon (Salmo salar), one of the most consumed fish in the world, in order to determine its impact on marine ecosystems through two production methods: fishing and aquaculture.
Aim : combining LCA and ecology
The goal of this study is to compare the impact of wild salmon and aquaculture on biodiversity. The method used is life cycle assessment (LCA) applied to wild salmon and aquaculture life from « cradle to grave ». This study excludes the life of salmon harvested after arrival in port. It assumes that wild and farmed salmon evolve similarly beyond the port stage during transport, processing and consumption, and that they have the same nutritional functions.
The functional unit is « 1 kg of fresh Atlantic salmon at the port gate ».
LCA indicators cover only part of the impacts on biodiversity: habitat change, pollution and climate change. Through this study, we wish to cover two drivers that are missing: overexploitation and invasive species. For this, we rely on the ecological literature. We base ourselves on the same functional unit.
This project is currently ongoing, in collaboration with a team of students from the Ecole Polytechnique.