Supply Chain

Sustainability Key Concern When Purchasing Fish, Survey Shows

By Sarah O'Sullivan
Sustainability Key Concern When Purchasing Fish, Survey Shows

Some 68% of customers in Ireland are conscious of eco-labels on fish and seafood, as well as being conscious of price, a new survey has shown.

The survey was conducted by YouGov for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and released ahead of World Oceans Day, on 8 June.

More than 2,000 people were surveyed in April 2024, revealing that 68% look for eco-labelled products when shopping for fish and eating at restaurants.

Some 47% said that the price of fish is important to them, making it customers’ second-biggest concern, after freshness, at 52%.

The survey found that 49% of respondents eat seafood at least once a week.

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When it comes to sustainability, some 72% of respondents said that they recognise that the purchasing choices that they make can make a difference to the health of ocean.

Respondents included people who don’t eat or purchase fish, showing a general awareness among Irish consumers of the effects of climate change on the ocean (37% – up from 28% in 2021).

Respondents also showed an increased awareness of rising sea levels – up to 24%, from 13% in 2021.

‘Work Together’

The senior commercial manager for MSC UK and Ireland, Seth McCurry, said, “This research confirms that there is increasing public concern around ocean health.

“There are steps we and the consumer can take to protect biodiversity, and it is evident that the majority are aware of those.

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“Amidst all the global environmental concerns, such as rising sea levels and climate change, it is more important than ever that we continue to support sustainable fishing practices, work together to tackle overfishing, and make sure that we are making [a] conscious choice to protect such a valuable food source.

“And for environmentally conscious shoppers, the good news is there are over 350 different MSC-labelled fish and seafood products available in Ireland, with Tesco, Aldi and Lidl all offering a wide range to choose from across different product formats and price ranges.

“That includes everything from cod, haddock and salmon to shellfish, like cold-water prawns and Irish mussels.”

Read More: Irish Crab Market Collapses, Endangering Fishing Businesses

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