Publication - A Risk Benefit Analysis of Mariculture as a means to Reduce the Impacts of Terrestrial Production of Food and Energy

The Sustainable Aquaculture Research Group worked with ABPMer to produce this report for the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum and WWF-UK. The study was commissioned to investigate whether the pressure on land and freshwater for future food and energy resources, and impacts on the climate, related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, may be reduced through expansion of global mariculture. The study has undertaken a high level assessment of the ‘environmental footprint’ of global mariculture and terrestrial-based food and energy production systems through the collation and assessment of available Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) for key food products (beef, pork, chicken, freshwater finfish, marine finfish, shellfish and crustacean species) and biomass (terrestrial and algal) for energy production. The outputs of the footprint comparison were then used to assess the risks and benefits of increasing global mariculture, through the development of projected future scenarios in which mariculture contributes differing proportions of projected future food requirements. The analysis also qualitatively considered the socio-economic and wider environmental risks and benefits (e.g. in relation to ecosystem services) of global mariculture expansion, where expansion may occur geographically and whether future technological developments may help mitigate against identified impacts. <Download report in PDF format>