A framework for environmental analyses of fish food production systems based on systems engineering principles



The demand for environmentally responsible food production is increasing; this is also valid for fish food products. To assess the environmental performance of a fish food product system, contributions from both the life cycle of the fishing vessel and the value chain of the fish, from catch to final product, should be investigated. Few environmental life cycle investigations of the fish value chain, the so-called fish food production system, have been performed. This paper uses systems engineering methods with input from life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to create a framework for performing environmental analysis on fish food production in the North Sea. In order to test the proposed framework, life cycle environmental data from a medium-sized Norwegian fishing vessel has been used. The framework demonstrates a systematic way to analyze and provide environmental information for the fish food product system. This can be extended to other food products and thereby become a framework for the analysis and comparison of different food products. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Syst Eng