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Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1228;

Life Cycle Assessment of Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata) Production in Offshore Fish Farms

IMIDA, Calle Mayor s/n, 30150 Alberca Las Torres, Murcia, Spain
Departamento Mixto, Universidad de Murcia, Edificio C, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Espinardo, Murcia, Spain
Estación de Acuicultura Marina (IMIDA), Puerto de San Pedro del Pinatar, 30740 San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shelley Burgin
Received: 6 September 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1646 KB, uploaded 25 November 2016]   |  


Life cycle assessment is used in this study to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of producing gilthead seabream in an offshore sea farm exposed to storms in the Spanish Mediterranean Sea. The farming methods used can be considered as “basic” since no centralized or automatic food distribution system exists and there is no control system. This study aims to identify the main hotspots under these conditions and to propose and compare viable alternatives to them. Contribution analysis found that the component of the system with the greatest potential environmental impact (48% of the overall impact) was fish feed, especially the raw material used. Other contributory factors were the fuel consumed by the vessels operating in the farm (35%), the dumping of N and P in the environment due to the metabolism of the fish (12%), the cages and their anchorage system (5%). A sensitivity analysis showed that a significant reduction in potential environmental impact can be achieved by increasing feeding efficiency. Feed formulation in raw materials is also an important factor and could serve to diminish overall adverse effects. A balance needs to be found between productive performance (growth, survival and feed conversion rate), feed price and its influence on production costs and the overall environmental consequences. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental impact; feed; life cycle assessment; offshore fish farm; Sparus aurata environmental impact; feed; life cycle assessment; offshore fish farm; Sparus aurata

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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García García, B.; Rosique Jiménez, C.; Aguado-Giménez, F.; García García, J. Life Cycle Assessment of Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata) Production in Offshore Fish Farms. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1228.

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