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Environmental performance of blue foods
American University, USA.
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden; WorldFish, Malaysia; Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
Dalhousie University, Canada; Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Netherlands.
Tel Aviv University, Israel; Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, USA.
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2021 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 597, no 7876, p. 360-365Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fish and other aquatic foods (blue foods) present an opportunity for more sustainable diets1,2. Yet comprehensive comparison has been limited due to sparse inclusion of blue foods in environmental impact studies3,4 relative to the vast diversity of production5. Here we provide standardized estimates of greenhouse gas, nitrogen, phosphorus, freshwater and land stressors for species groups covering nearly three quarters of global production. We find that across all blue foods, farmed bivalves and seaweeds generate the lowest stressors. Capture fisheries predominantly generate greenhouse gas emissions, with small pelagic fishes generating lower emissions than all fed aquaculture, but flatfish and crustaceans generating the highest. Among farmed finfish and crustaceans, silver and bighead carps have the lowest greenhouse gas, nitrogen and phosphorus emissions, but highest water use, while farmed salmon and trout use the least land and water. Finally, we model intervention scenarios and find improving feed conversion ratios reduces stressors across all fed groups, increasing fish yield reduces land and water use by up to half, and optimizing gears reduces capture fishery emissions by more than half for some groups. Collectively, our analysis identifies high-performing blue foods, highlights opportunities to improve environmental performance, advances data-poor environmental assessments, and informs sustainable diets. © 2021, The Author(s)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Research , 2021. Vol. 597, no 7876, p. 360-365
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-56679DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03889-2Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85115276922OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-56679DiVA, id: diva2:1612095
Note

Funding details: 2020-00454; Funding details: National Science Foundation, NSF, 1826668; Funding details: Oak Foundation; Funding details: Walton Family Foundation; Funding details: MAVA Foundation; Funding details: Nature Conservancy, TNC; Funding details: Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas, 2016-00227, 2017-00842; Funding text 1: Acknowledgements This paper is part of the Blue Food Assessment (https://www.bluefood. earth/), a comprehensive examination of the role of aquatic foods in building healthy, sustainable and equitable food systems. The assessment was supported by the Builders Initiative, the MAVA Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation, and has benefitted from the intellectual input of the wider group of scientists leading other components of the Blue Food Assessment work. J.A.G., K.D.G. and C.D.G. were supported by funding under NSF 1826668. A.S. was supported by a grant from the Nature Conservancy. P.H. undertook this work as part of the CGIAR Research Programs on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH) led by WorldFish and on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) led by CIAT.P.H. and A.S. were partially supported by FORMAS Inequality and the Biosphere project (2020-00454).Funding for participation of S.H., K.B.; M.T., P.H. and F.Z. came from Swedish Research Council Formas (grants 2016-00227 and 2017-00842). This work was financially supported, in part, by the Harvard Data Science Initiative. We thank Fernando Cagua for his review of the model code.

Available from: 2021-11-17 Created: 2021-11-17 Last updated: 2023-05-25Bibliographically approved

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Bergman, KristinaZiegler, Friederike

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