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Sustainable shrimp production chain in the Midwestern United States

thesis
posted on 08.05.2020 by Ahmad Al Eissa

With the increasing global population, providing sufficient food to meet the rising demand has become a great challenge to food-producing sectors. Aquaculture is one of the food sources which produces varieties of seafood. Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the US, and its production plays an important role in the aquaculture industry. However, shrimp farming causes various types of pollution to damage the environment and aquatic biodiversity, the associated impacts must be mitigated to ensure the sustainability of shrimp production. This study performed a life cycle assessment (LCA) on different shrimp production chains from cradle to the market in Midwestern US covering three farming systems and eight shrimp feed formulas. Midpoint environmental impacts including acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP) and global warming potential (GWP) were determined. Feed production was identified as the main contributor to the AP and GWP for both the intensive and semi-intensive production systems (SPS), regardless of the feed formula. While the environmental performance of feed production highly depended on the feed conversion ratio, feed ingredient was another determining factor in which animal protein sources, including poultry by-product meal and fishmeal, showed high contributions to the AP and GWP. However, plant proteins such as soybean, wheat, and corn gluten meals produced higher EP, therefore, substituting plant-based ingredients for animal-based ones in shrimp feeds did not all result in positive environmental consequences. Shrimp farming was the hotspot of all the three impacts, especially accounting for the highest EP. Among the three farming systems studied here, the SPS caused the highest environmental burdens due to the intensive uses of chemicals and fertilizers. On the contrary, the extensive farming was found to be the most sustainable system because no inputs of feeding and additional materials and energy are required for its operation. The LCA model developed in this study is expected to serve as US shrimp farmers’ decision-making guidelines to adapt farming practices with lower environmental footprint.

History

Degree Type

Master of Science

Department

Food Science

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Jen-Yi Huang

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Paul Brown

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Yaohua Feng

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