Low consumer awareness of microplastics in fish, finds survey
Forty percent of consumers are aware of the issue of microplastics in fish, according to a new survey conducted by land-based salmon farming company Pure Salmon. The recently-launched company’s analysis also found that 36.5 percent had knowledge of antibiotic use in sea-farmed fish.
The results are part of a survey of 2,000 consumers in the United Kingdom and United States. Consumers in each country were asked their opinions on issues ranging from microplastics in seafood to food miles and purchasing habits.
Pure Salmon said that while awareness levels around the environmental impact of sea farming were low, two-thirds of consumers in the same survey said they would be more likely to purchase fish that has been sustainably farmed. Sixty percent of those surveyed also said they would also pay more for fish with strong sustainable and environmental credentials.
The survey also found that when it comes to awareness of microplastics, U.K. consumers were ahead of the curve (55 percent awareness) compared to Americans (37 percent). Furthermore, 81 percent said it was either important or very important to understand where fish comes from when making purchasing decisions, and that 72 percent would be more likely to purchase fish if they knew it was produced close to their home, reducing food miles.
Pure Salmon was developed by investment firm 8F Asset Management Pte. Ltd.
“Our new research shows how consumers increasingly want to purchase locally-sourced, sustainable fish which doesn’t damage the ocean and is free of any microplastics, chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and pollutants,” Stephane Farouze, chairman and founder of 8F, said. “As larger numbers of consumers become aware of these issues, particularly those associated with the farming of fish in sea cages, we expect to see increasing demand for Pure Salmon’s sustainably farmed Atlantic salmon. Producing sustainable food without further damaging our oceans is paramount to us and is the socially responsible choice for consumer health, the environment and the economy.”
Pure Salmon plans to offer a range of products, starting this spring with smoked salmon. It rears its fish close to consumer markets using recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology.