A shellfish diet might be even better than going vegan

Percentage mangrove deforestation between 2000 and 2012, and dominant land uses of deforested areas in 2012. Richards and Friess

But Waite agreed with the study’s major conclusions. It’s just hard to beat a shellfish farm, he says: “There’s no land use at all, no freshwater use, no fertilizer use — in fact, they clean up the surrounding water.” Shellfish farms are usually in coastal waters, where there’s plenty of space. Consider those factors together, and it looks like it’s more environmentally friendly to get your calories from mussels than from veggies and beans.

The study was supported by a grant from the Seafood Industry Research Fund. Funding can often subtly (or not so subtly) influence science, but in this case it’s unlikely to have done so, given the study was comparing the relative merits of different sectors of the seafood industry.

“A real surprise to me was how low the impact of salmon farming was,” study author Hilborn says. “I’ve done a lot of work with Alaska fishers and they basically hate salmon farming, but it looks like it’s not so bad.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *