Estimation of the Carbon Footprint of the Atlantic Mackerel Processing and Supply Chain


Completed 2016


Estimation of the Carbon Footprint of Shetland's Atlantic Mackerel Processing and Supply Chain Cover

This study investigated the carbon footprint (CF) of Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) as landed and processed through Shetland. This study builds on previous work by the author (see below) examining the CF of the capture/landing phase, to give an overview of the chain through to arrival at its first post-processing destination.

The carbon footprint chain for Atlantic mackerel as processed through Shetland has been found to be low in comparison to other protein processing chains, and particularly efficient in terms of processing itself. Electricity usage was found to be the biggest contributing factor in the processing phase. The processing of Atlantic mackerel is relatively energy efficient and potential improvements are likely to depend on future improvements in machinery and improvements in electricity emissions. Although it is possible for processing plants to seek out the most efficient energy suppliers, this will likely be largely government led.

Packaging was found to have minimal impact on the chain as a whole, suggesting that the materials and methods used are efficient. Transport was undertaken via small containership to the country of purchase and found to be one of the most efficient options for cargo transport.

The chain up until this end point produced CF values that consolidated the position of Atlantic mackerel as a low carbon foodstuff in comparison with many other seafood and terrestrial meat products.


The project was funded by:

Download the Project Report

Estimation of the Carbon Footprint of Shetland's Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) Processing and Supply Chain (pdf)


For further information about this project contact Frances Sandison.