[env-trinity] CBB: Study Looks At Sustainable Salmon Production, Says Salmon Fisheries Low Global Scale Impact

Guillen, George J. Guillen at uhcl.edu
Sat Nov 28 19:56:34 PST 2009

I think what this illustrates best is the urgent need for a true ecosystems management approach that incorporates life cycle assessment of all major components of the ecosystem effected (organisms, water and air quality, hydrology etc).  Good examples of where this approach would have come in handy recently is the push for organic (i.e. corn) fuel vs. petroleum and electric cars vs. petroleum.  In the first case the actual costs of crop production (land, fertilizer, water and land quality degradation) were not factored in.  I recall the sad photos of rain forest being burned for sugar can production to fuel this industry.  In the second case, the focus was on automobile emissions reduction, but failed to consider emissions from coal fired power plants that generate electricity, much less the additional heavy metals (e.g. lead etc) that need to be mined to build the batteries used in vehicles.  I believe many of our national and state laws, and not just environmental legislation,  need to be revised and amended to force them to consider these alternatives (both costs, benefits and drawbacks) from a holistic ecosystem when making recommendations.  It makes economic sense and green sense too.  
George Guillen 


From: env-trinity-bounces+guillen=uhcl.edu at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us on behalf of Kier Associates
Sent: Sat 11/28/2009 3:55 PM
To: frankemerson at redshift.com; frankemerson at redshift.com
Cc: env-trinity at mailman.dcn.org
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] CBB: Study Looks At Sustainable Salmon Production, Says Salmon Fisheries Low Global Scale Impact

where I left that salmon fisheries vs. pen rearing life cycle expert panel assessment in D.C two years ago, Frank, the ocean fisheries were clearly shaping up, on a life cycle/ greenhouse gas, etc level better than pen rearing

I'll see if I can't scare up the final rpt, which I now realize I've not seen, with Google


At 04:57 PM 11/25/2009, frankemerson at redshift.com wrote:

	My apologies for addressing you as Tom, not sure why I did that sorry.
	Here is a better link to Alexandras' blog concerning BC salmon and open
	net pens.
	Frank Emerson
	> Hello Tom,
	> In what way are Canadians and Europeans ahead of "us" regarding open net
	> pen salmon rearing and salmon life cycles? What was the result the
	> assessments?
	> The list of researchers on this "study: should be enough to tell you it
	> was supported by the salmon farming industry.
	> "School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University,
	> Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sustainable Food Production, SIK - Swedish Institute
	> for Food and Biotechnology, Gothenburg, Sweden, Knowledge Systems,
	> Ecotrust, Portland, Oregon, and School of Food Engineering, Pontificia
	> Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile"
	> Other than ecotrust they are all "food institutes" and "food engineering
	> schools" in the heart of salmon farming regions of the world. The
	> reference to land based production is the giveaway. Many scientists in BC
	> are demanding that provincial govts require salmon pens to be closed
	> contained pens, with effluent treatment to prevent the contamination of
	> out migrating smolts with sea lice, as well as the pollution that is
	> changing fjords near the pens.
	> I sincerely urge you to go to this scientists blog and read about what is
	> happening in BC.
	> http://howbadtherecord.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-blog-by-alexandra-morton.html 
	> There are many "youtube" vids on Alexandras work in BS and the Broughton
	> Archipelago also.
	> http://www.youtube.com/user/cradel3
	> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e7Ma-mD7h0&feature=fvw
	> Thank you,
	> Frank Emerson
	>> <html>
	>> <body>
	>> <font face="Garamond" size=4>Two years ago I served, together with
	> scientists from Canada and Europe, on a National Environmental
	>> Trust-hosted expert panel to conduct a life cycle assessment of Pacific
	> salmon fisheries and of Pacific pen-rearing operations. <br><br> It was an
	> eye-opening experience for me - the Europeans (and for that matter, people
	> all over the planet) are way ahead of us in this kind of analysis and in
	> applying life cycle assessment results to all kinds of consumer choices
	> and government rule-making - '<u>way</u> ahead<br><br> It will be a
	> delight to see this kind of thinking arrive, even slowly,
	> in
	>> the U.S<br><br>
	>> Bill Kier<br><br>
	>> </font>&nbsp;At 10:42 AM 11/25/2009, Sari Sommarstrom wrote:<br><br>
	> <blockquote type=cite class=cite cite="">THE COLUMBIA BASIN
	>> BULLETIN:<br>
	>> Weekly Fish and Wildlife News<br>
	>> <a href="http://www.cbbulletin.com/" eudora="autourl">
	>> www.cbbulletin.com <http://www.cbbulletin.com/> </a><br>
	>> November 25, 2009<br>
	>> Issue No. 510<br><br>
	>> <br>
	>> <font size=4><b>* Study Looks At Sustainable Salmon Production, Says
	> Salmon Fisheries Low Global Scale Impact<br><br>
	>> </b></font>Popular thinking about how to improve food systems for the
	> better often misses the point, according to the results of a three-year
	> global study of salmon production systems.<br><br>
	>> Rather than pushing for organic or land-based production, or worrying
	> about simple metrics such as &quot;food miles,&quot; the study finds that
	>> the world can achieve greater environmental benefits by focusing on
	> improvements to key aspects of production and distribution.<br><br> For
	> example, what farmed salmon are fed, how wild salmon are caught and the
	> choice to buy frozen over fresh matters more than organic vs.
	> conventional or wild vs. farmed when considering global scale
	>> environmental impacts such as climate change, ozone depletion, loss of
	> critical habitat, and ocean acidification.<br><br>
	>> The study is the world's first comprehensive global-scale look at a
	> major
	>> food commodity from a full life cycle perspective, and the researchers
	> examined everything ­ how salmon are caught in the wild, what they're fed
	>> when farmed, how they're transported, how they're consumed, and how all
	> of this contributes to both environmental degradation and socioeconomic
	> benefits.<br><br>
	>> The researchers behind the study sought to understand how the world can
	> develop truly sustainable food systems through the lens of understanding
	> the complexities associated with wild and farmed salmon production,
	> processing and distribution. They found that decision-making for food must
	> learn to fully account for the life cycle socioeconomic and
	> environmental costs of food production. How we weight the importance of
	> such impacts is ultimately subjective and in the realm of policy and
	> culture, but using a comprehensive approach provides a more nuanced
	> process for informed decision-making. Even food has a lifecycle, and the
	> world must learn to comprehend the full costs of it in order to design
	> reliable, resilient food systems to feed a world population that's
	> forecast to grow to 9 billion in less than 40 years.<br><br>
	>> The researchers chose salmon as their focus as it exemplifies important
	> characteristics of modern food systems, yet offers unique opportunities
	> for comparison. It is available around the world at any time and in any
	> location, regardless of season or local ecosystem, it is available in
	> numerous product forms, and it is distributed using a variety of
	> transport modes. Unlike many other food systems, however, it is
	> available
	>> from both wild sources and a range of farmed production systems.
	> <br><br>
	>> While it isn't easy to balance people, profit and planet, the world must
	> do much better. Food production, in aggregate, is the single largest
	> source of environmental degradation globally. Impacts vary dramatically
	> depending on what, where and how food is produced. <br><br>
	>> For example, early results of the study found that growing salmon in
	> land-based farms can increase total greenhouse gas emissions ten-fold over
	> conventional farming depending on how and where the farming is
	> conducted.<br><br>
	>> Similarly, while organic farming of many crops offers benefits over
	> conventional production, organic salmon production gives rise to impacts
	> very similar to conventional farming due to the use of resource
	> intensive
	>> fish meals and oils. Beyond the farm, it's important to also consider
	> the
	>> total impact of food preparation. Driving to the store alone and then
	> cooking alone at home has a big environmental impact. Going out to dinner
	>> more, or just eating more frequently with friends and family at home,
	> has
	>> huge benefit.<br><br>
	>> For concerned consumers, it's important to think about how food was
	> produced and transported ­ not just where it was produced ­ when making
	> food choices.<br><br>
	>> Initial Findings from the study:<br><br>
	>> --- Fish should swim, not fly. Air-freighting salmon, and any food,
	> results in substantial increases in environmental impacts. If more frozen
	>> food were consumed, more container ships would be used to ship food.
	> Container ships are by far the most efficient and carbon-friendly way to
	> transport food. Globally, the majority of salmon fillets are currently
	> consumed fresh and never frozen. In fish-loving Japan, which gets much of
	>> its fish by air, switching to 75 percent frozen salmon would have more
	> benefit than all of Europe eating locally farmed salmon. <br>
	>> --- The choice to buy frozen matters more than organic vs. conventional
	> or wild vs. farmed. <br>
	>> --- A full life cycle assessment approach to research provides a more
	> nuanced process for informed decision-making. Even food has a lifecycle,
	> and we must comprehend the full impact to make meaningful improvements to
	>> food systems. Tradeoffs may be inevitable. <br>
	>> --- Contrary to what is widely perceived, the vast majority of
	>> broad-scale resource use and environmental impacts (energy inputs, GHG
	> emissions, etc) from conventional salmon farming result from the feeds
	> used to produce them. What happens at or around a farm site may be
	> important for local ecological reasons but contributes very little to
	> global scale concerns such as global warming. <br>
	>> --- Across the globe, what is used to feed salmon and the amounts of
	> feeds used vary widely. As a result, impacts are very different.
	> Norwegian salmon farming resulted in generally lower overall impacts while
	> farmed salmon production in the UK resulted in the greatest
	> impacts. <br>
	>> --- Reducing the amount of animal-derived inputs to feeds (e.g. fish
	> meals and oils along with livestock derived meals) in favor of
	>> plant-based feed inputs can markedly reduce environmental impacts. <br>
	> --- Growing organic salmon using fish meals and oils from very resource
	> intensive fisheries results in impacts very similar to conventional farmed
	> salmon production. <br><br>
	>> If not planned carefully, technological fixes aimed at addressing local
	> environmental challenges associated with conventional salmon farming can
	> result in substantial increases in global-scale environmental
	>> impacts.<br><br>
	>> In general, salmon fisheries result in relatively low global-scale
	> environmental impacts. <br><br>
	>> However, substantial differences exist between how salmon are caught.
	> Catching salmon in large nets as they school together has one tenth the
	> impact of catching them in small numbers using baited hooks and lures.
	> <br><br>
	>> Across salmon production systems ­ and all food systems ­ the world is
	> often swimming against the tide. Instead of working with nature, people
	> work against it, chasing fish in the open ocean with big diesel engines or
	> substituting energy demanding pumping and water treatment for free
	> ecosystem services in salmon farming. We can and must do better than this
	>> and start to swim with the tide. <br><br>
	>> The most recent published paper from the study can be seen in the
	> journal
	>> Environmental Science &amp; Technology:
	>> <a href="http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es9010114"
	> eudora="autourl">
	>> http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es9010114</a><br>
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