Survey: U.S. consumers have mixed views on aquaculture

Nearly half (47 percent) of U.S. consumers have a negative perception of farmed seafood due to product quality, food-safety and environmental concerns, according to a survey released this week at Seafood Expo North America.

The Global Aquaculture Alliance and The Fishin’ Company of Seattle presented the preliminary results of a consumer survey that comprised more than 40 questions about farmed vs. wild seafood, country of origin and sustainability. More than 500 U.S. seafood consumers nationwide were polled.

However, that negative perception didn’t drastically impact purchasing behavior, as a mere 5 percent of survey respondents said they buy only wild seafood.

“Native fish populations are being overfished and farming is more sustainable,” said one respondent. “In a controlled environment, food safety is more certain" in aquaculture, said another.

When survey respondents were asked about their familiarity with the various seafood ecolabels, including GAA’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) label, the majority were unfamiliar with them, ranging from 69 percent to 81 percent, depending on the label.

The full survey results will be presented at GAA’s GOAL 2015 conference in Vancouver, Canada, from 26 to 29 October, where a 40-page report will be available to attendees.


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