, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 381–394 | Cite as

Edible Protein Energy Return on Investment Ratio (ep-EROI) for Spanish Seafood Products

  • Ian Vázquez-Rowe
  • Pedro Villanueva-Rey
  • Mª Teresa Moreira
  • Gumersindo Feijoo


Life cycle assessment (LCA) has developed into a useful methodology to assess energy consumption of fishing fleets and their derived seafood products, as well as the associated environmental burdens. In this study, however, the life cycle inventory data is used to provide a dimensionless ratio between energy inputs and the energy provided by the fish: the edible protein energy return on investment (ep-EROI). The main objective was to perform a critical comparison of seafood products landed in Galicia (NW Spain) in terms of ep-EROI. The combination of energy return on investment (EROI) with LCA, the latter having standardized mechanisms regarding data acquisition and system boundary delimitation, allowed a reduction of uncertainties in EROI estimations. Results allow a deeper understanding of the energy efficiency in the Galician fishing sector, showing that small pelagic species present the highest ep-EROI values if captured using specific fishing techniques. Finally, results are expected to provide useful guidelines for policy support in the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.


Energy inputs EROI Fisheries Food systems Seafood 



This article was developed thanks to funding from the Galician Government (Project reference: GRC 2010/37). The authors would also like to thank Peter Tyedmers and the School for Resource and Environmental Studies (SRES) at Dalhousie University (NS, Canada) for disclosing valuable information for the completion of this manuscript, as well as the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions.

Supplementary material

13280_2013_426_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (106 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 105 kb)


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Vázquez-Rowe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pedro Villanueva-Rey
    • 1
  • Mª Teresa Moreira
    • 1
  • Gumersindo Feijoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, School of EngineeringUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiagoSpain
  2. 2.Public Research Centre Henri Tudor (CRPHT)/Resource Centre for Environmental Technologies (CRTE)Esch-sur-AlzetteLuxembourg

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