SARF078: Carbon Footprint Of Scottish Suspended Mussels And Intertidal Oysters

Start Date: 01/12/2010
End Date: 31/05/2011
Main Contractor(s): Environmental Resources Management Ltd
Other Sponsor(s): Crown Estate


The objective of the study is to provide SARF, its members and widerstakeholders with information about the carbon footprint of shellfish. In awider context, the report is intended to aid the promotion of low-carbon foodssuch as mussels and oysters. In addition, it is hoped that the report willprovide material to stimulate debate regarding the contribution tosustainability made by the shellfish industry in increasing biodiversity whilstpotentially acting as a long-term form of carbon sequestration.


The study considered the cradle-to-gate impacts of the shellfish, from spatcollection in the case of mussels, and hatching in the case of oysters, throughgrowing, harvesting, depuration, and packing ready for dispatch. Toillustrate the carbon impacts of the full life cycle, a scenario is included that,based on various assumptions, illustrates the potential impacts of distribution,retail, consumption and disposal of the shells.As an addition to the main scope of the study, the capture and sequestrationof carbon in the shells was also assessed. The purpose of this was to providebackground information for discussions regarding the potential benefitssecured in terms of affects on carbon sinks and the possibility of the award ofcarbon credits in the future.