Given this challenge, aquaculture seems likely to play a major role in the solution. Compared to other meat sources, the overall carbon footprint for fish is quite favorable. In comparison studies between farmed salmon and traditional meat production, the carbon footprint for the farmed salmon is 2.9 carbon equivalents per kilogram of edible product. Corresponding numbers for chicken and pork are 3.4kg, 5.9kg respectively. Cattle’s carbon footprint is as much as 30 carbon equivalents per kilogram of edible product.
But, unlike our tropical species, salmon are carnivores, which adds to their environmental impact since other fish have to be caught and processed to feed them. One pound of farmed salmon can require up to three pounds of other fish to produce. The savings to the environment get even greater when you compared non- carnivorous, “low-trophic” tropical species such as pangasius. Pangasius are omnivorous and able to thrive on a far more ecological diet. The Fish Feed Equivalence Ratio (FFER) and economic Feed Conversion Ratio (eFCR) for pangasius are among the most favorable of all farmed fish.