Environmental life cycle assessment of seafood production: A case study of trawler catches in Tunisia

Abstract : The Gulf of Gabes is one of the most productive fishery areas in the southern Mediterranean Sea. It is archetypal of an ecosystem in which the effects of fisheries are most pronounced. Demersal trawling is the main fishing activity in the Gulf of Gabes. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was applied to assess the environmental performance landing 1 t of seafood with wooden demersal trawlers in the Gulf of Gabes. Impact categories included in the study were abiotic depletion potential (ADP), acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP), global warming potential (GWP), ozone depletion potential (ODP), photochemical oxidant formation potential (POFP), human toxicity potential (HTP), marine eco-toxicity potential (METP), terrestrial eco-toxicity potential (TETP), land occupation potential (LOP), and total cumulative energy demand (TCED). Demersal trawlers were classified based on their impact intensity. Results showed that 70% of the vessels had relatively low impacts. Impact intensity was proportional to the amount of fuel consumed to land 1 t of seafood. Ships that fished less had the highest impacts per ton, due to lower fishing effort and catch per unit effort. This is likely to typify vessels that target highly valuable species such as shrimp. Onboard vessel activities contributed most to different environmental impacts (AP, EP, GWP and POFP), related to the high energy use of this fishery. Several impacts (ADP, ODP, METP, LOP and TCED) were associated mainly with fuel and lubricating oil production. Therefore, improvements must focus on minimizing fuel consumption. LCA is a valuable tool for assessing how to increase environmental sustainability of demersal trawling and it can help stakeholders identify the main operational issues that require improvement.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 5:40:33 PM
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Khaled Abdou, Didier Gascuel, Joel Aubin, Mohamed Salah Romdhane, Frida Ben Rais Lasram, et al.. Environmental life cycle assessment of seafood production: A case study of trawler catches in Tunisia. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2018, 610-611, pp.298 - 307. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.067⟩. ⟨hal-01843594⟩

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