New Report Finds Farmed Salmon has Lower Environmental Cost than Pork, Beef, Chicken

The Fish Site
October 13, 2016

CANADA – A detailed assessment of consumers’ most common protein choices shows salmon raised in the ocean have the lowest overall cost to the environment.
A new study prepared for the BC Salmon Farmers Association by Ottawa based RIAS Inc. examines the evidence from life-cycle analyses in the literature on the environmental footprint of BC farm-raised salmon compared to production of other food proteins.

Through a life-cycle analysis (LCA), which the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) defines as “a tool for the systematic evaluation of the environmental aspects of a product or service system through all stages of its life cycle,” it is possible to compare different food systems based on several objective environmental measures.
The most common indicators in an ISO standardized method for measuring a “cradle-to-farm gate” approach across the animal or crop’s life are: energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, water use and land use.

Based on the valuation of greenhouse gases, land use, water use, and eutrophication, BC salmon farming has a lower total environmental cost than beef, chicken, or pork.

Farm-raised salmon is 24 per cent less costly to the environment than chicken, while beef has a cost that is 500 per cent greater than salmon raised in an ocean environment.

B.C. farm raised salmon ($0.59/kg) has the lowest overall environmental cost of any of the major protein options available to consumers today.
Farm-raised salmon is 24 per cent less costly to the environment than chicken ($0.73/kg) to almost 500 per cent less costly than beef ($3.45/kg).

“Health professionals agree that salmon is by far the most healthy protein choice for people to eat, this study shows it’s also the most healthy protein for our planet,” said Jeremy Dunn, BC Salmon Farmers Association Executive Director.

“With world population estimated by the United Nations to grow by over two-billion by 2050, governments must consider the full environmental costs of the food we grow and eat, we have a global food supply and a global environment.”

About Omega Protein
Omega Protein Corporation (NYSE: OME)is a century old nutritional product company that develops, produces and delivers healthy products throughout the world to improve the nutritional integrity of foods, dietary supplements and animal feeds. Omega Protein’s mission is to help people lead healthier lives with better nutrition through sustainably sourced ingredients such as highly-refined specialty oils and essential fatty acids, specialty protein products and nutraceuticals.
The Company operates seven manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Europe. The Company also operates more than 30 fishing vessels to harvest menhaden, a fish abundantly found off of the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

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