Bivalve shellfish farming is expected to be performed as the effective mitigator of the growing pressure for global animal protein demand. Carbon emission reduction in the whole farming process of the bivalve shellfish has great potential in reducing carbon emissions in food production in the future. However, the hatchery stage of oyster, with high energy input, may be a high carbon emission process and necessitates effective carbon emission reduction. This study uses life cycle assessment (LCA) to analyze the carbon footprint of the farming of Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), a shellfish with the largest farming yield in the world, in Fujian province in China. The results show that the total carbon footprint, from cradle to gate is 70.81 kgCO2-eq/tonne fresh oyster, which suggested that oyster farming perform favorably against livestock farming for protein products and can justifiably be promoted as a low- carbon food product. Hatchery culture contributed 62.2% of the total carbon emission. The feed production in the hatchery culture stage, account for about 2.27 % of carbon emission, were not the major emission factor. Carbon emission form energy consumption and material inputs are about half and half. The carbon footprint of Pacific oyster can be reduced by employing energy- conserving transport technology and utilizing renewable energy. The improvements could be helpful for sustainable production of Pacific oyster farming.
Keywords Pacific oyster farming, Life cycle assessment, Carbon emission