WP3: Life cycle analysis

Co-ordinator: Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) supported by Tam Mungkung at Kasetsart University (KU)

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  1. All project partners orientated in the basic principles of LCA by transferring expertise and practical experiences on LCA, particularly from EU to ASIA.
  2. LCA methodology developed for aquaculture systems, i.e. operational guidelines for LCA studies on aquaculture systems.
  3. Use LCA results to compare environmental performance of products and services associated with the specified Asian finfish and crustacean production systems and warm-water aquaculture systems for the same species in Europe. Provide guidance on the least harmful or burdensome options.

Description of work and role of participants

T3.1 Life Cycle Assessment training: An LCA orientation will be given by senior researchers from Leiden University supported by a sub-contracted partner Tam Mungkung from Kasetsart University, Thailand, who will help set-up the training and mediate data collection for the LCA case studies. The training aims to get all project partners not already familiar yet with LCA acquainted with its basic principles. This will take the form of a “hands-on” technical workshop covering principles, inventory collection methods, impact assessment, case studies and small exercises. Another topic of the training will focus on standardisation of data collection methods and formats.

T3.2 Development of LCA methodology targeted at specified fish and crustacean production systems: As a start existing LCA studies on living aquatic production will be inventoried. Methodological problems will be evaluated and responses developed building on, for example, work of Pelletier et al (2007) and Ayer et al (2007). Changes to existing LCA methods may include development of specific impact categories, in addition to existing ones. We will adapt and apply so-called hybrid LCA; combining elements of process-based LCA (cf. Guinée et al., 2002) and IO-based LCA (cf. Tukker et al., 2006). Last but not least, the subject of attributional versus consequential LCA will be assessed and the mode most relevant for analysis of the specified aquaculture systems identified. The sub-contracted partner from Kasetsart University, Thailand, has specific experiences on LCA of aquaculture of frozen block black tiger prawn (intensive pond system, Thailand), IQF Pacific white-leg frozen shrimp (intensive pond system, Thailand), carp and tilapia (cage aquaculture, Indonesia), polyculture of shrimp, crab, milkfish and tilapia (extensive system in pond, the Philippines), sea bass and sea bream (organic, non-organic in France) (Mungkung, 2005; Mungkung et al., 2006; Mungkung et al., 2007; Mungkung & Gheewala, 2007).

T3.3 Life cycle inventory: Building on the results of WP2, particularly T2.4 and T2.6, system boundaries will be defined and flow charts will be drafted of the alternative finfish and crustacean production systems in Asia (preferably focusing on one typical farm per country). All energy, material flows and environmental flows within these system boundaries will be identified for each unit process involved for the selected case-studies (extraction/ processing of raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, use, reuse of processing by-products and recycling and disposal of waste) through an extensive data collection process with help of project partners and the sub-contracted partner. As background data will probably be lacking for Asian countries, these may be taken from European and other databases. Allocation calculations will be made and explained, inventory results calculated and reported.

T3.4: Life cycle impact assessment: Inventory results will be translated into contributions and scores on a pre-defined set of impact categories possibly including additional (qualitative/quantitative) results for additional impact categories specific for aquaculture systems. The impact assessment methods will be?? applied. Examples of impact categories for which best practice indicators will be applied include e.g. climate change, human health effects, eutrophication, acid rain, stratospheric ozone depletion, photochemical oxidant formation, abiotic resource depletion, land use impacts, etc. It is very likely that for some chemicals identified in the inventory analysis of the aquaculture systems, no characterisation factors exist. Where possible, new characterisation factors for these chemicals will be drafted then when data availability and time allows for that.

T3.5: Interpretation: The results of the LCA case studies will be used as input to the multi-stakeholder dialogues hosted by WWF together with the results of other tools from other WPs. The LCA results will be used primarily for identifying improvement options and secondarily for comparison of systems. Analysis of major contributions, sensitivity and uncertainty analysis, ranking of relative importance of different life cycle steps (dominance analysis) to improve product/ production processes for action research. Results will be used to identify starting points for improvement options and based on this; a limited number of improvements will be calculated within a new LCA (scenario). Conclusions will be drafted on the basis of the case study results.

T3.6: Internal review and integration: An internal project-review of the case study results will be made according to ISO 14040 and 14044 guidelines. Amongst other things, results of WP3 will contribute to T5.7 (LCC), T6.1 and to the knowledge-base for the Ethical (including social, environmental and health considerations) Aquatic Food Index (EAFI) developed in WP11, particularly T11.1. To allow iteration and improvement, draft results from each of the above tasks will be submitted for review by project partners and results will be processed in final outputs.


D3.1 (month 12) Report on LCA methodology; adapted and extended where necessary for analysing aquaculture systems

D3.2 (month 24) Draft inventory report for the case studies on selected aquaculture systems

D3.3 (month 36) Draft final LCA case study reports for selected aquaculture systems

D3.4 (month 48) Final case study reports for selected aquaculture systems

Photo © Loni Hensler