InvestigateWest: Frozen salmon have smaller carbon footprint than fresh

Eat your frozen salmon. Preferably wild, frozen salmon.

A new study out of Portland shows that frozen salmon consume less energy from net to table than do fresh. And farmed salmon “have a heavy hidden demand on fossil fuels,” the study’s authors said, because the feed can be either forage fish, which would be more efficiently fed directly to people, or corn and soy, which require fuel for growing and harvest.

“We said, ‘Eat wild salmon,’” Astrid Scholz, vice president of knowledge systems at Ecotrust and one of the report’s authors, told The Oregonian’s Abby Haight. “But it made me a little uneasy…. There’s something wrong about catching an Alaska salmon, putting it on a helicopter, and then putting it on a jet to Moscow and then to New York so someone can eat their $50 dinner of fresh Copper River salmon.”

Ecotrust examined the carbon footprint of catching, harvesting and transporting wild salmon around the world. They found that flash-freezing at sea and shipping later used less energy. Container ships are the most environmentally friendly transportation, the study showed. Most salmon sold around the world, however, are fresh, and never frozen.

Read more here from Rita Hibbard at InvestigateWest.

2 Responses to InvestigateWest: Frozen salmon have smaller carbon footprint than fresh

  • p olson:

    Wild Alaskan salmon caught in an area called port moller is of the highest quality salmon.The salmon are cauhgt in prestine bering sea water ,chilled at 33degrees temperature monitored blast froze to minus 40 .The product is the best

  • joe samudovsky:

    I would like to know how much fresh salmon actually moves via helicopter? And why would anyone choose a flight routing to Moscow in order to get to New York…I assume this is a typo. What the researchers fail to mention is the fact that large quantities of fresh salmon are shipped in the belly compartments of passenger aircraft thereby minimizing the true carbon footprint on a per kilo basis. Lastly, air freight delivers the product closer to dense population centers which reduces the surface portion of the transportation leg. Did the researchers take into consideration the total supply chain?