Producing Fish Sticks And Fillets For Consumption May Harm The Environment: Study

Transforming 'Alaskan pollock' into fish sticks, imitation crab and fish fillets may generate nearly twice the greenhouse gas emissions produced by fishing itself.

Edited by Neha Grover (with inputs from IANS)  |  Updated: January 18, 2020 14:42 IST

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Producing Fish Sticks And Fillets For Consumption May Harm The Environment: Study

The research studied the climate impacts of shipping of exported seafood products.

Seafood is a popular type of cuisine, loved by people all across the globe. Fish, in particular, is considered a super healthy food, great for internal health, skin and hair heath as well. But, did you know that making some kinds of fish food may harm the environment? If the findings of a new study are to be believed, transforming 'Alaskan pollock' into fish sticks, imitation crab and fish fillets may generate nearly twice the greenhouse gas emissions produced by fishing itself. The Alaska pollock or walleye pollock is a marine fish species, which is mostly found in the North Pacific regions, more so in the eastern Bering Sea. 

According to the study published in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, post-catch processing generates emissions that are much more in quantity that what is produced by fishing itself. 

Study researcher Brandi McKuin from Unviersity of California in the US said, "The food system is a significant source of global greenhouse gas emissions, and Alaskan pollock is one of the biggest fisheries in the world. Alaskan pollock is sold as fillets and trim pieces that are used to make products like fish sticks and imitation crab, it's a huge market. These findings highlight the need to take a comprehensive approach to analysing the climate impacts of the food sector."

The researchers studied the climate impacts of transoceanic shipping of exported seafood products. The team looked at all the components of the supply chain, from fishing through the retail display case. They revealed some "hot spots" where the seafood industry could focus on and try to minimise climate impacts. 

"Seafood products that are exported have a lower climate impact than domestic seafood products. Shipping has a massive influence on climate and a shift to cleaner fuels will diminish the cooling effect from sulfur oxides and increase the climate impact of products that undergo transoceanic shipping, including seafood," added McKuin.
 

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