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Senior Capstone 2021

Life Cycle Impact of Atlantic Salmon: An assessment of externalized costs on human welfare

Abstract: In this paper, a life cycle assessment of wild and farmed Atlantic salmon is conducted to identify the externalized costs of fisheries and aquacultures on the environment and human health. Wild salmon populations have declined due to human induced activities to promote growth and profitability. As a result of increasing demand and diminishing populations, wild salmon is being replaced by farm-raised salmon. Although wild salmon is considered to be healthier to consume than farmed salmon, technological advancements have allowed aquacultures to produce healthier and sustainable fish. Countries with stricter regulations can enforce sustainable practices for aquacultures to ensure that farmed salmon can still be consumed with the same risk tolerance as wild salmon. These regulations set standards to reduce the levels of PCB exposure, antibiotics in use, and other contaminants. Sustainable and health-conscious consumers can still buy farm-raised salmon without the premium of wild-caught with proper knowledge.

Luke Hong is a senior at Northeastern majoring in Finance and Economics. His interest is in financial data analytics and his immediate plans are graduating.