Seafood lovers around the world believe that the biggest threat to the oceans is pollution, followed by overfishing. Those are some of the top takeaways from a survey earlier this year of over 25,000 people in 22 countries.
The survey was done by the public opinion research firm GlobeScan for the Marine Stewardship Council. The non-profit MSC led the movement starting 20 years ago towards certifying fisheries that are managed sustainably. Sourcing seafood from ‘earth friendly’ fisheries has become a requirement of doing business by most seafood buyers around the globe.
The study found that 72 percent of seafood consumers want sustainability verifications at their supermarkets, but price is still the biggest motivator for buying decisions. A surprising gender divide showed that men are more motivated by price while women regarded seafood sustainability as more important.
Seventy-two percent also agreed that buying seafood from sustainable sources will help save our oceans; 70 percent said people should switch their purchases to well managed fisheries.
Eighty-three percent of global consumers agreed that seafood needs to be protected for future generations, and 70 percent said they would like to hear more from companies about their sustainability purchasing practices.
In what the survey called “a climate of persistently low consumer trust in business globally,” trust in the blue MSC label has remained high at 69 percent, and understanding of the label has increased to 37 percent, up from 32 percent in 2016.
Younger consumers are even more tuned in to choosing sustainable seafood, with 41 percent of 18-34 year olds understanding what the Marine Stewardship Council label means.
That younger group also showed a slightly different profile, eating less seafood on average and worrying more about the effects of climate change on the oceans than their older counterparts.
Alaska uses a Responsible Fisheries Management) model based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for its third party seafood certification.
Global consumers rated certification organizations third for their contribution to protecting the oceans, after NGOs and scientists. Governments and large companies rated as contributing the least.
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