The carbon footprint of the shrimp from this land use is about 10-fold greater than the land use carbon footprint of an equivalent amount of beef produced from a pasture formed from a tropical rainforest.
To better help the public understand the environmental impact of eating
shrimp, the carbon footprint of shrimp was calculated. According to
biologist J. Boone Kauffman, 3.5 ounces of shrimp has a carbon footprint of
436 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2).
According to these estimates, 3.5 ounces of shrimp produces 436 pounds of CO2. One pound of frozen shrimp produces one ton of CO2. Shrimp production has such a deleterious effect on the environment because of how it it produced. 50-60% of shrimp farms are in tidal zones in Asian countries, where mangrove fields were cut down to make way for shrimp farms. The farms produce just 2.2 pounds of shrimp for each 5 miles of mangrove field. This results in a carbon footprint 10-fold higher than an equivalent amount of beef being produced on land that was cleared rain forest.
If the seafood is produced on a typical Asian fish farm, a 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving "has an ecosystem carbon footprint of an astounding 198 kilograms (436 pounds) of CO2," biologist J. Boone Kauffman said.
A one-pound (454-gram) bag of frozen shrimp produces one ton of carbon dioxide, said Kauffman, who is based at Oregon State University and conducts research in Indonesia.
He told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that he developed the comparison to help the public understand the environmental impact of land use decisions.
Kauffman said 50 to 60 percent of shrimp farms are located in tidal zones in Asian countries, mostly on cleared mangrove forests.
"The carbon footprint of the shrimp from this land use is about 10-fold greater than the land use carbon footprint of an equivalent amount of beef produced from a pasture formed from a tropical rainforest," wrote Kauffman in a paper released to AFP, not including emissions from farm development, feeds, supplements, processing, storing and shipping.
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