Life cycle assessment of the Peruvian industrial anchoveta fleet: boundary setting in life cycle inventory analyses of complex and plural means of production

  • Pierre FréonEmail author
  • Angel Avadí
  • Rosa Amelia Vinatea Chavez
  • Federico Iriarte Ahón



This work has two major objectives: (1) to perform an attributional life cycle assessment (LCA) of a complex mean of production, the main Peruvian fishery targeting anchoveta (anchovy) and (2) to assess common assumptions regarding the exclusion of items from the life cycle inventory (LCI).


Data were compiled for 136 vessels of the 661 units in the fleet. The functional unit was 1 t of fresh fish delivered by a steel vessel. Our approach consisted of four steps: (1) a stratified sampling scheme based on a typology of the fleet, (2) a large and very detailed inventory on small representative samples with very limited exclusion based on conventional LCI approaches, (3) an impact assessment on this detailed LCI, followed by a boundary-refining process consisting of retention of items that contributed to the first 95 % of total impacts and (4) increasing the initial sample with a limited number of items, according to the results of (3). The life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) method mostly used was ReCiPe v1.07 associated to the ecoinvent database.

Results and discussion

Some items that are usually ignored in an LCI’s means of production have a significant impact. The use phase is the most important in terms of impacts (66 %), and within that phase, fuel consumption is the leading inventory item contributing to impacts (99 %). Provision of metals (with special attention to electric wiring which is often overlooked) during construction and maintenance, and of nylon for fishing nets, follows. The anchoveta fishery is shown to display the lowest fuel use intensity worldwide.


Boundary setting is crucial to avoid underestimation of environmental impacts of complex means of production. The construction, maintenance and EOL stages of the life cycle of fishing vessels have here a substantial environmental impact. Recommendations can be made to decrease the environmental impact of the fleet.


Attributional LCA Complex production system Environmental impacts Fishing vessel Fuel use Life cycle inventory 



This work, carried out by members of the anchoveta supply chain (ANCHOVETA-SC) project (; Accessed Oct 04, 2013) is a contribution to the International Join Laboratory “Dynamics of the Humboldt Current system” (LMI-DISCOH) coordinated by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the Instituto del Mar del Peru (IMARPE), and gathering several other institutions. This work was carried out under the sponsorship of the Direction des Programmes de Recherche et de la formation au Sud (DPF) of the IRD. We acknowledge Philippe Roux (Cemagre, France) for suggesting a figure to formalise our ideas (Fig. 1). The first two authors are members of the ELSA research group (environmental life cycle and sustainability assessment, Accessed Oct 04, 213). The Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería (National Society for Fisheries, SNP) facilitated our contacts with some of the largest fishing companies.

Supplementary material

11367_2014_716_MOESM1_ESM.doc (436 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 436 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Fréon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angel Avadí
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rosa Amelia Vinatea Chavez
    • 3
  • Federico Iriarte Ahón
    • 4
  1. 1.UMR 212 EME, Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et TropicaleInstitut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) SETE cedexFrance
  2. 2.Université Montpellier 2Sciences et TechniquesMontpellier Cedex 5France
  3. 3.Facultad de Oceanografía, Pesquería, Ciencias Alimentarias y AcuiculturaUniversidad Federico VillarrealLimaPeru
  4. 4.Iriarte & Asociados (I&A), Miro Quesada 191, of. 510LimaPeru

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