CIE Spotlight: Incorporating carbon footprints into seafood sustainability certification and eco-labels

Peter M.

Peter M.

Title: Incorporating carbon footprints into seafood sustainability certification and eco-labels

Authors: Madin, Elizabeth M. P.; Macreadie, Peter I.

Source: MARINE POLICY, 57 178-181, JUL 2015

Brief summary of the paper: The seafood industry has become increasingly interconnected at a global scale, with fish the most traded commodity worldwide. Travel to the farthest reaches of the oceans for capture is now common practice, and subsequent transport to market can require hundreds to thousands of miles of travel by sea and air.

Refrigeration of seafood products is generally required at all stages of the journey from ocean to dinner plate, resulting in substantial energy expenditure. Energy input for aquaculture (including mariculture) products can also be high, namely due to the large amounts of feed required to support fish growth.

As a result of these factors, the seafood industry has a substantial carbon footprint. Surprisingly, however, carbon footprints of seafood products are rarely integrated into assessments of their sustainability by eco-labels, sustainability certification, or consumer seafood sustainability guides.

Suggestions are provided here for how carbon footprints could be incorporated within seafood sustainability schemes.