Consumer interest in social sustainability issues of whitefish from capture fisheries in the north-east Atlantic

Linda J.L. Veldhuizen, Ivo A. van der Lans, Paul B.M. Berentsen, Imke J.M. de Boer, Eddy Bokkers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Capture fisheries in the north-east Atlantic account for approximately 10% of all fish consumed from capture fisheries globally. The literature shows that consumers show considerable interest in social sustainability of products in general and of fish specifically. This interest, however, has not yet been investigated for fish from the north-east Atlantic. The first objective of this study, therefore, was to investigate whether consumers are interested in social sustainability issues of whitefish from the north-east Atlantic by determining preferences for four social sustainability issues with distinct benefits in relation to a known reference point (i.e. approach to overfishing). The second objective of this study was to determine to what degree case-specific and general psychographic consumer characteristics explain preferences for these issues. Choice modelling results from an online survey among 457 Dutch consumers show that consumers have the strongest preference for the environmental sustainability issue approach to overfishing. In addition, results on the social sustainability issues showed that consumers prefer fish welfare over product quality, worker safety and local employment, indicating that in this case, consumers place animal benefits over personal, worker and community benefits. The case-specific psychographic characteristic concern contributed most to explaining preferences for the environmental sustainability issue, whereas the general psychographic characteristic personal relevance contributed most to explaining preferences for the social sustainability issues. This result is likely explained by the principal focus on MSC certification in markets for fish products, which caused consumers to form opinions (e.g. concern) on overfishing, but not on social sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-542
JournalFish and Fisheries
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Choice modelling
  • concern
  • consumer preferences
  • relevance
  • trust
  • values

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