Oysters represent an important portion of the world’s total aquaculture production. In recent years, in Italy, oyster farming has progressively increased its role in the economic growth of the aquaculture sector and still has great potential for growth. As in any other production, oyster farming generates environmental impacts over an oyster’s life cycle, due to material, energy, fuel, and water use. The aim of this work was to carry out a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment (LCA) of 1 kg of fresh oysters of commercial size produced in the Po delta area, northern Italy. Two scenarios were considered. The current scenario provides for oyster seed purchasing from France and transport to Italy, whereas the alternative scenario includes in situ seed production in order to realize a complete local and traceable supply chain. Eco-indicator®
99-H and ReCiPe®
midpoint (H) v.1.12 were used to perform the impact assessments. The overall impacts of the two scenarios were very similar and indicated that the main hotspots were the fattening and prefattening phases of farming, which were common in both scenarios. Focusing the analysis on the first stages, transport from France had a greater impact than did local seed production, emphasizing the importance of a short supply chain in aquaculture production.
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