Accounting for overfishing in life cycle assessment: new impact categories for biotic resource use
Overfishing is a relevant issue to include in all life cycle assessments (LCAs) involving wild caught fish, as overfishing of fish stocks clearly targets the LCA safeguard objects of natural resources and natural ecosystems. Yet no robust method for assessing overfishing has been available. We propose lost potential yield (LPY) as a midpoint impact category to quantify overfishing, comparing the outcome of current with target fisheries management. This category primarily reflects the impact on biotic resource availability, but also serves as a proxy for ecosystem impacts within each stock.
LPY represents average lost catches owing to ongoing overfishing, assessed by simplified biomass projections covering different fishing mortality scenarios. It is based on the maximum sustainable yield concept and complemented by two alternative methods, overfishing though fishing mortality (OF) and overfishedness of biomass (OB), that are less data-demanding.
Results and discussion
Characterization factors are provided for 31 European commercial fish stocks in 2010, representing 74 % of European and 7 % of global landings. However, large spatial and temporal variations were observed, requiring novel approaches for the LCA practitioner. The methodology is considered compliant with the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) standard in most relevant aspects, although harmonization through normalization and endpoint characterization is only briefly discussed.
Seafood LCAs including any of the three approaches can be a powerful communicative tool for the food industry, seafood certification programmes, and for fisheries management.
KeywordsLife cycle impact assessment Lost potential yield Maximum sustainable yield Overfishing Seafood life cycle assessment
We would like to thank Ole Eigaard, Ian Vázquez-Rowe, and Sverker Molander for useful comments on this work, which has been funded by the EU FP7 project LC-IMPACT (contract number 243827) and the Swedish Research Council Formas.
- BSI (2012) PAS2050-2:2012—assessment of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions—supplementary requirements for the application of PAS 2050:2011 to seafood and other aquatic food products. The British Standards Institution, LondonGoogle Scholar
- EC (2003) COM 302 Integrated product policy—building on environmental life-cycle thinking. Commission of the European Communities, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
- EC (2008a) Council regulation No 99/2008 concerning the establishment of a community framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the Common Fisheries Policy. Council Regulation (EC), BrusselsGoogle Scholar
- EC (2008b) Directive 2008/56/EC—establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine strategy framework directive). Official Journal of the European Union, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
- EC (2011) COM 425 Proposal of the European Commission for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Common Fisheries Policy. Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
- Emanuelsson A (2008) Bycatch and discard in Senegalese artisanal and industrial fisheries for southern pink shrimp (Penaeus notialis), vol 774. SIK, GothenburgGoogle Scholar
- FAO (2008) The sunken billions—the economic justification for fisheries reform. World Bank and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
- FAO (2012) The state of world fisheries and aquaculture. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, RomeGoogle Scholar
- Gutiérrez NL, Valencia SR, Branch TA, Agnew DJ, Baum JK, Bianchi PL, Cornejo-Donoso J, Costello C, Defeo O, Essington TE, Hilborn R, Hoggarth DD, Larsen AE, Ninnes C, Sainsbury K, Selden RL, Sistla S, Smith ADM, Stern-Pirlot A, Teck SJ, Thorson JT, Williams NE (2012) Eco-label conveys reliable information on fish stock health to seafood consumers. Plos One 7(8):e43765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Haes HAU, Finnveden G, Goedkoop M, Hofstetter P, Jolliet O, Klöpffer W, Krewit W, Lindeijer E, Muller-Wenk R, Olsen SI, Pennington DW, Potting J, Steen B (2002) Life cycle impact assessment: striving towards best practice. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), BrusselsGoogle Scholar
- Hornborg S, Belgrano A, Bartolino V, Valentinsson D, Ziegler F (2013a) Trophic indicators in fisheries: a call for re-evaluation. Biol Lett 9(1):20121050Google Scholar
- Hornborg S, Svensson M, Nilsson P, Ziegler F (2013b) The IUCN Red List as a framework for communication regarding discard impacts in fisheries. Env Mgmt 52(5):1239-1248Google Scholar
- ICES (2011) Report of the Baltic Fisheries Assessment Working Group (WGBFAS) : ANNEX: WGBFAS Cod in 22–24, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
- ICES (2012a) ICES Advice 2012 Book 1–Introduction, overviews, and special requests. The International Council for Exploration of the Seas, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
- ICES (2012b) Stock summary database, at ICES website. The International Council for Exploration of the Seas. Accessed 1 December 2012Google Scholar
- ILCD (2010) ILCD handbook—general guide to life cycle assessments—detailed guidance, 1st edn. Joint Research Center of the European Commission, LuxenburgGoogle Scholar
- ISO (2006a) ISO14040 Environmental management—life cycle assessment—principals and framework. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
- ISO (2006b) ISO14044 Environmental management—life cycle assessment—requirements and guidelines. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
- Kraak SBM, Bailey N, Cardinale M, Darby C, De Oliveira JAA, Eero M, Graham N, Holmes S, Jakobsen T, Kempf A, Kirkegaard E, Powell J, Scott RD, Simmonds EJ, Ulrich C, Vanhee W, Vinther M (2013) Lessons for fisheries management from the EU cod recovery plan. Mar Policy 37:200–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- KRAV (2010) Godkännade av kustnära fiske med bur, krok och garn på torsk i Östersjön. KRAV. http://krav.se/Upload/327/Beslut_torsk_ostersjon_2010-12.pdf. Accessed 2013-03-27
- Langlois J, Fréon P, Delgenes J-P, Steyer J-P, Hélias A (2012) Biotic resources extraction impact assessment in LCA of fisheries. In: Corson MS, van der Werf HMG (eds) Proceedings of the 8th international conference on life cycle assessment in the agri-food sector (LCA food 2012), 1–4 October 2012, Saint Malo, France. INRA, Rennes, France, pp 517–523Google Scholar
- MEA (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: Biodiversity synthesis. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), Washington DCGoogle Scholar
- MSC (2013a) Fiskbranschens Sweden eastern Baltic cod. Marine Stewardship Council. http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/north-east-atlantic/sweden-eastern-baltic-cod. Accessed 2013-03-27
- MSC (2013b) Portugal sardine purse seine. http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/north-east-atlantic/portugal-sardine-purse-seine. Accessed 2013-03-27
- Papatryphon E, Petit J, Kaushik SJ, van der Werf HMG (2004) Environmental impact assessment of salmonid feeds using life cycle assessment (LCA). Ambio 33(6):316–323Google Scholar
- Parker R (2012) Review of life cycle assessments research on products derived from fisheries and aquaculture: a review for seafish as part of the collective action to address greenhouse gas emissions in seafood. Sea Fish Industry Authority, Edinburgh, UKGoogle Scholar
- Punt A, Smith ADM (2001) The gospel of maximum sustainable yield in fisheries management: birth, crucifixion, and reincarnation. In: Reynolds JD, Mace GM, Redford KH, Robinsson HG (eds) Conservation of exploited species. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, pp 41–66Google Scholar
- R (2012) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Development Core Team. http://www.r-project.org/
- Rockström J, Steffen W, Noone K, Persson A, Chapin FS, Lambin EF, Lenton TM, Scheffer M, Folke C, Schellnhuber HJ, Nykvist B, de Wit CA, Hughes T, van der Leeuw S, Rodhe H, Sorlin S, Snyder PK, Costanza R, Svedin U, Falkenmark M, Karlberg L, Corell RW, Fabry VJ, Hansen J, Walker B, Liverman D, Richardson K, Crutzen P, Foley JA (2009) A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461(7263):472–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schaefer M (1954) Some aspects of the dynamics of populations important to the management of the commercial Marine fisheries. Bulletin of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission 1(2):27–56Google Scholar
- Worm B, Hilborn R, Baum JK, Branch TA, Collie JS, Costello C, Fogarty MJ, Fulton EA, Hutchings JA, Jennings S, Jensen OP, Lotze HK, Mace PM, McClanahan TR, Minto C, Palumbi SR, Parma AM, Ricard D, Rosenberg AA, Watson R, Zeller D (2009) Rebuilding global fisheries. Science 325(5940):578–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ziegler F, Nilsson P, Mattsson B, Walther Y (2003) Life cycle assessment of frozen cod filets including fishery-specific environmental impacts. Int J Life Cycle Assess 8(1):39–47Google Scholar