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From Fish to Fish – Evaluating the Socio-Environmental Consequences of the Vietnamese Fishmeal Industry A Life Cycle Assessment and Product Chain Organisation Analysis of the Production of Vietnamese Fishmeal

Charles Horsnell
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2019. 94 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden; E2019-005, 2019.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

The rapidly growing aquaculture industry in Vietnam has increased the demand for wild fish as a raw material for fishmeal and fishoil in processed feeds. While fishmeal and fishoil can be produced from fish by-products, in Vietnam it is generally produced from small pelagic fish or bycatch from local capture fisheries, otherwise known as ‘trashfish’. These fisheries have been associated with a range of negative environmental interactions, including disturbance of sea-floor ecosystems, poor energy efficiency, and reduction of juvenile fish. Moreover Edwards et al., (2004) review of Vietnamese fishmeal production reported that several of the fish stocks used were already overexploited and a recent report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) states that there will be no exploitable fish stocks in South East Asia by 2048 if current fishing practices continue. As such, this study explored these environmental impacts using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Product Chain Organisation (PCO) methodologies, with primary data collection in key parts of the fishmeal supply chain. This allowed for quantitative (LCA) and qualitative (PCO) representation of the status of the industry to be assessed, and for key Life Cycle Inventory data to be made publicly available. The results from the LCA conducted show that the Vietnamese Large trawl fishing vessels (Anchovy trawlers) have the largest environmental impact for the Life Cycle Impact categories assessed in this study (Global Warming potential, Eutrophication, Acidification and Photochemical Oxidisation) relative to the functional unit of 1 tonne of Vietnamese fishmeal produced. The reason for this impact is a result of the quantity of trashfish this vessel class supplies to the fishmeal industry along with the fuel consumption per kg trashfish landed compared to the other vessel classes assessed. Along with this, when compared to other Vietnamese LCA studies that have used Peruvian or Danish fishmeal as a proxy, up to a 5x increase in environmental impact (based on impact categories assessed) can be seen in Vietnamese fishmeal. vii The results from the PCO indicate the important role middlemen play within the Vietnamese fishmeal industry with relation to, among others, the quality of trashfish that will be utilised for fishmeal production processes and the logistical support they provide. Moreover, it was seen that there are great sustainability improvements that could be made using the middlemen as a vector into the industry. This thesis’s major flaw is that it lacks good biodiversity impact assessments that could be used as a baseline for comparison into the future. It is therefore suggested that the attention of further studies should be focused on environmental consequences of utilising trashfish for fishmeal and the subsequent biodiversity/ecosystem implications that these capture fisheries are associated with.

Nyckelord: Fishmeal, Trashfish, Life Cycle Assessment, Product Chain Organisation (PCO), Vietnamese Fisheries, Aquaculture.

Publikationen registrerades 2019-02-15. Den ändrades senast 2019-02-15

CPL ID: 256496

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