I never ate meat during my whole life because of a gastric problem. But I still eat seafood (Fish, shrimp...). Some call this being pescetarian.

I always thought that this was also respectful of the environment. Recently a person told me that this was false, as fish production also has a big impact on the environment. Is that right? Don't I help even a little bit by not eating meat?

I would like a quantification of the differences of the environmental footprints between an omnivorous person, a pescetarian and a full-vegetarian.

If possible, I'm searching for quantifiable answers, for example : "meat consumes x times more energy per kilo than fish and y times more than cereals."

I have a partial answer from this question but it doesn't cover the case of pescetarians.


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    I won't post an answer since I can not provide the quantified aspect but I wanted to assure you that your definitely are helping (more by a little bit) by not eating meat. Consumption of fish is environmentally damaging mainly by the destruction of ecosystems that the massive overfishing brings about. This you still support as a consumer by eating fish, but all of the other environmental problems related to meat consumption are absent because of you not eating meat. Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 14:53

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There are many ways to assess whether human activities are "good for the environment" but when it comes to eating fish, the major concern is about rapidly declining fish populations in all oceans around the world. I suggest checking out these related questions:

I started working on an answer to your question about energy use (and greenhouse gas emissions) but it was getting to be too long for this format. So instead, I'll just point out some significant variables that might help you ask a more narrowly-scoped question.

  • What species of fish? There's a huge difference between large carnivorous tuna and herbivorous tilapia.
  • Oceanic fish or coastal fish?
  • Fish you caught yourself or bought in a store?
  • Any particular fishing methods? (Bottom trawl, etc.)
  • Wild-caught fish or farmed fish?
  • Compare food energy, protein, or some other quality?
  • Over 20 or 100 years? Not all greenhouse gases are made equal; some have more impact in the short-term while others have more impact in the long term.

I suggest narrowing the scope of your question and then asking again on Sustainability.SE. That site is a great place to ask about environmental impact of various human activities. This site is focused on vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.

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