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Survey Finds US Consumers Still Unfamiliar With Aquaculture

20 March 2015

US - A new consumer survey coordinated by The Fishin’ Company in conjunction with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has found that many consumers in the US are still largely unfamiliar with aquaculture.

The survey consisted of more than 40 questions on a variety of topics, including farmed vs. wild seafood, country of origin and sustainability. More than 500 US seafood consumers nationwide were polled, writes Steven Hedlund, GAA.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of survey respondents have a negative perception of farmed seafood due to product quality, food-safety concerns and environmental concerns.

However, a negative perception of aquaculture does not necessarily translate to purchasing behavior, as a mere five per cent of survey respondents indicated that they buy only wild seafood.

When survey respondents asked about their perceptions of aquaculture, the results were mixed. But a higher-than-expected percentage of survey respondents understand the role of aquaculture in feeding the world’s growing population.

“Native fish populations are being overfished and farming is more sustainable,” said one respondent.

“In a controlled environment, food safety is more certain,” said another respondent.

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

The full survey results will be presented at GAA’s GOAL 2015 conference in Vancouver, Canada, from Oct. 26 to 29, and a 40-page report will be available to GOAL 2015 attendees. The Fishin’ Company is a sponsor of GOAL 2015.

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