Environmental impact reduction of plaice and cod fishing is expected once technological innovations are applied. (Photo: EC)
Environmental impact of white fish from North Sea compares to aquaculture's
Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The environmental impact of fishing wild plaice and cod in the North Sea is comparable to that of imported farmed fish like salmon, tilapia and pangasius, according to a study published last week by LEI, part of Wageningen UR.
Moreover, while catch of plaice and cod consumes more energy than meat production, the global warming potential (GWP) of both sectors is similar, the study asserts.
However, the researchers noted that a considerable reduction in the environmental impact of plaice and cod fishing is expected once technological innovations are put into practice. Conversely, the effects of improvements in aquaculture are not considered to be as straightforward as in fisheries.
But for now, the results of LEI’s life cycle analysis (LCA) demonstrate no significant differences between energy use and the emission of climate change-inducing greenhouse gases of plaice and cod fishing in the North Sea and the farming of salmon, tilapia and pangasius, PhysOrg reports.
Scientists noted that the use of fertilizers is much lower in the case of wild caught fish compared to the farming of the aforementioned fish species.
This study depicts the environmental impact of the Dutch fisheries sector.
It also revealed that even though fishing for plaice and cod takes up more energy than the production of meat, the extent to which the process exacerbates greenhouse gas production is similar to that of pork. The reason is that the production of meat is linked to emissions of not only CO2 but also other greenhouse gases, such as methane, from animals and manure.
While fish was found to score better than beef, it was discovered that chicken fares slightly better than fish.
The score of North Sea fish could improve radically if efforts related to the potential of the fisheries sector to achieve further fuel savings are successful. The sustained implementation of innovation projects in the fisheries industry should lead to considerable improvements, the researchers declared.
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By Natalia Real