LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA) TO IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY OF OYSTER FARMING: THE CASE STUDY OF THE SACCA DI GORO, NORTHERN ITALY
Abstract - Oyster farming is an important sector for aquaculture and the most farmed species worldwide is the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg, 1753). China is the world’s leading producer, while at European level, is France. In Italy, oyster farming is agrowingsector, even though production is still low compared to average consumption. There are many sites known for the excellence of their products and oneof them is the Sacca di Goro lagoon, Northern Italy, taken as the case study for this research. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)was performed to analyse different local oyster farming systems in the Sacca di Goro.LCA is a standardized methodology (ISO 14040) for the quantitative evaluation of environmental impacts of products. Considering as a benchmark the traditional farming phases, corresponding to seed procurement, prefattening, fattening and harvesting, different alternative scenarios has been proposed, in order to minimize the overall environmental impact. Firstly, the opportunity to replace seedprocurement from France withseed productionin-situ. The second step was to compare prefattening phase in open sea and in lagoon.Afunctional unit of 1 kg of live oysters was chosen. LCA was performed using OpenLCA® software and several impact categories (i.e. GWP, global warming potential and EU, eutrophication potential). A Monte Carlo simulation, with 1000interactions and a significance level of 95% was used for the uncertainty analysis. The results show that the main hotspots are the pre-fattening and fattening phases, due to the use of boat and fuel consumption. Moreoverthere was no significant difference between theimpacts of seed production in-situ and seed purchase from France, whereas prefattening in lagoon results in a 10% of average impact reduction in all impact categories.