Seafood buying habits of public are changing
June 9, 2020, Toronto, Ont. – More than half of Canadian seafood shoppers have already made changes to the way they choose to buy seafood in the last year in order to protect fish and seafood in the ocean, according to a recent survey done by independent insights consultancy GlobeScan for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
The ways that concerned consumers are choosing to “vote with their forks” include switching to brands or products that help protect the ocean or fish (22 per cent), buying different seafood species (16 per cent) and changing where they buy seafood (13 per cent).
Eight in 10 seafood consumers (82 per cent) are willing to take further action with the majority of Canadians (74 per cent) calling on grocery stores to remove all unsustainable fish and seafood products from their shelves.
What may be fuelling this consumer activism is the worry held by 31 per cent of Canadians that their favourite fish like salmon (31 per cent), shrimp/prawns (15 per cent), lobster(13 per cent), tuna (nine per cent), and cod (seven per cent) will not be available to eat in the next 20 years. In addition, the survey shows a higher proportion of 18-to-24-year-olds (42 per cent) fear their favourite fish may be off the menu by 2040 compared to people 55 and older (25 per cent).
The good news, according to the MSC, is that six in 10 respondents are aware that choosing sustainable seafood does make a difference to the health of the ocean and that to save the ocean, the fish and seafood people eat should be from sustainable sources only.
Despite this, however, only 26 per cent of Canadian seafood consumers notice ecolabels, such as the MSC blue fish label.
The MSC has launched a new campaign called Little Blue Label, Big Blue Future. Through this campaign Canadians can learn about the MSC blue fish label that indicates certified wild, sustainable, and traceable seafood.
Brian Perkins, regional director Americas at the MSC said, “Right now we are at a turning point to be able to give the next generation a healthy ocean with an abundance of marine life, but it depends on what we all do now.
“Canadians are aware of the number of stressors that impact the ocean like overfishing, ocean pollution and climate change. This survey shows they want to make a meaningful difference by supporting fish and seafood products that are sustainably sourced. What we choose to put on our plates today will impact the future health of the ocean.
“All of us have a role to play. From the fisheries that are committed to sustainable practices that allow fish populations and the ecosystems they depend on to remain healthy, to Canadians who choose sustainably sourced fish and seafood by looking for the MSC blue fish label at grocery stores and restaurants.”