Profish, Ltd Fishprints

OceanPro Industries Ltd announces our Carbon FishPrint™ rating system

The Carbon Fishprint™ system is designed so that our customers can make intelligent decisions regarding the carbon energy necessary in bringing their seafood purchases to their door. While not an exact science by any means (no wild catch can ever be) this system is meant to bring awareness that the harvest and production of some species require significantly more carbon energy than others. By using this system, a buyer can assess what the effect is on the environment caused by the procurement of each individual species. While this is not the sole, nor the most critical component of, a particular species effects on the environment, when used in conjunction with other factors, it makes for a much more intelligent decision for purchasing fish. We recommend using this rating system in addition to some other criteria or rating system which takes a comprehensive look at species management, bi-catch issues and processing bi-products – such industry watchdogs include the NOAA, the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and a host of other watch dogs.


Here's How It Works. In the template below we examine the paramaters specific to each fish. Each section gets assigned a point value based on things such as how the fish is caught or transported. The sum of the points is our Fishprint score.

Passive gears are by far the most energy-efficient type of fishing, while bottom trawling is the most energy-intensive. There is an inverse correlation between fuel consumption per kg fish (fish-capture efficiency) and catch rate. Large catches and good availability of fish result naturally enough in good efficiency and low specific energy consumption, and vice versa. This is shown most clearly in the case of large trawlers, but is more diffuse in the other vessel groups.
Fishing Methods
SeinersLearn MoreSeine nets are sometimes called surrounding nets. These nets use a variety of means to capture - from hand thrown to as many as four or five boats dragging the net around the harvest in the water, Seine nets typically do not drag the bottom so their effect on habitat of aquatic plant and shellfish is less than other methods.
Gill NetLearn MoreThis is a straight line net which is dropped and often left overnight. The nets are efficient because the nets do not need steaming (or boat movement) to harvest. Thus this method inspires a better Carbon Fishprint rating.
TrawlersLearn MoreTrawlers are vessels which drag the net behind the boat, using fuel constantly during the harvest method. Some trawlers do drag the bottom so there is effect on aquatic plant and shellfish life.
Hook and LineLearn MoreThis method is used to catch larger fish - different methods are used with pole and line, some more efficient than others - carbon speaking that is!
DredgersLearn MoreDredgers are cages or nets with steel bottoms which drag along the bottom of the ocean floor. Used mostly in shellfish harvesting, like Scallops and Lobsters and Clams, this method uses more energy to move the net along the bottom - the method also disturbs the ocean floor aquatic plant life, thus further effecting its Carbon Fishprint.
Pots/TrapsLearn MorePots and traps generally use the same method to capture their prey. Usually keeping traps and pots in a set or series of six to eight traps, the boat travels back and forth to get from one series to the next. Deeper ocean going vessels require larger carbon energy to operate and so their rating will be effected more by the distance to harvest than by the method. While the seiner will have the larger vessel stationary, the pot/trap method requires the vessel to always be traveling towards the next series - using fuel constantly in the process.
Distance From Shore for CatchThe distance from shore is critical both for the obvious reason - the distance, but also because the farther a vessel travels, usually the larger the motor(s) required to get the vessel in position, thus the farther the travel to harvest, the more significant the carbon use.
Special Carbon Usage or SavingsSometimes for a specific fish or specific catch, there reasons for a change in the Carbon usage - this section allows for such change and reasons are detailed here:
As far as Aquaculture is concerned, most studies indicate that embodied energy associated with feed inputs accounted for the largest proportion (approx. 60 to 80%) of industrial energy use, followed by direct energy usage (20 to 40%) and energy use in rearing the juvenile smolts stocked (10 to 20%). This might suggest that use of trimming could improve energy consumption in aquaculture by up to (50-60%) More recent estimates suggest lower overall energy consumption, indicating improved efficiency.
Feed Conversion RatioThe feed ratio is the amount of fish meal a fish must consume in order to add weight. This ratio is the quintessential component of a successful farm species. Some farms are better in these ratios because of the specific processes or methods. Species also have different metabolisms requiring more or less fish meal weight to get to a harvestable size.
Direct Energy UseThis section is a review of the specific farm and the energy conservation methods they use. Some farms have their pens far from their processing center, causing an increase to the Carbon Energy necessary to bring to processing. Other farms are located far from transportation to market and thus use more carbon energy to bring their products to market. We try to evaluate each farmed product based on the producer efficiency. Extra credit is given for self generated energy and smart use of energy.
Specific Farm Energy UseThe growing of smolts is an intense process. It requires a number of different energy uses, including special lighting, water temperature stability and inoculations – all have a energy component associated with their use. The OceanPro Fishprint takes the smolt production into consideration as a part of the scale to determine the amount of Carbon Energy required to bring a smolt to the farm.
Another large use of Energy is the ability to bring the product to market. Depending on the locality of the source, this can be accomplished with many different methods - dependant on the condition of the source and distance to the customer. Included in the distribution is the use of the refrigerants and the energy to keep a product at proper temperatures, airplane or truck delivery - or any combination of such. Also included in this section is the efficiency of the distributor and the freight companies and their general practices.
Delivery from Dock to DistributorThis section measures the distance a fish must travel once it is landed. The fish can be either aquaculturally raised or harvested from the wild. In either case, once landed and processed for delivery, there is carbon energy necessary to bring a product to market. Some use air travel, some use rail and still others truck. Some, like aquaculture products from South America use a combination of both so their Carbon Fishprint is higher than one might have initially anticipated.
Refrigerant UseRefrigeration is a mechanical process that uses energy to create lower temperatures. There are two proven methods - one straight mechanical and the gas based. The gas based (Ammonia) system used considerably less carbon energy to operate, and thus those processing and storage facilities that store using Ammonia based systems are better rated than the mechanical ones.
Distributor Freight EfficiencyOnce a product is brought to market, a local distributor is used to deliver the product to the individual restaurant/foodservice unit. Distributors use different methods to store and transport their product. This section accounts for the use of energy at the distributor level. Some distributors are pro-active in their approach to energy use and therefore have a better rating than others. This section evaluates the local distributor. Carbon offset credits are available to be purchased by distributors - the monies paid for these offsets are used to help re-populate forests, prevent deforestation and add beneficially to the environment.
Raw Material ShippingAdditonal raw material is required to make some products – that raw material must be brought to the processing center - this too requires some Carbon Energy output. The distance the product must travel to get to the processor is taken into consideration here. An example would be breading for the pre-breaded cod fillet - the breading is produced in midwest and shipped to processors on west coast . * Special requirements explained in notes section below.
Freezing processJust as in storage, when processing a product, the method for cooling to final state is taken into consideration. Some use nitrogen tunnels, others use blast freezers and still others use the old fashion method of putting in a freezer that is below zero degrees.
Processing plant EfficiencyThe plant where products are further processed can have a good energy use plan - here credit is given if such a plan is proven and is in operation and points are added for those plants that antiquated and inefficient - from an energy point of view.
Conversion processingSome products take two steps to be market ready - a frozen smoked fish must be smoked, using energy in this step and must also be frozen, also using energy. Other products can have three steps, coating, cooking and freezing. This section adds points for those products with multiple processing steps. Each step, regardless of how minute consumes some carbon energy - we try to capture that fact here.
*Rating based on below evidence - amount manually entered

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