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Abstract

Seafood is an increasingly important source of sustenance as it provides an energy efficient, low environmental impact source of protein. New innovations and techniques have improved fishing efficiency and scale, making seafood relatively inexpensive to catch. However, this increase in volume has consequently generated a growing global concern about the environmental impacts of seafood production and harvesting. The resulting increase in seafood demand was matched by an inverse decrease in fish stock. For example, tuna has decreased in global population by 80% since 1970, and is decimated by severe overfishing.

In order to educate consumers about the environmental effects of production and consumption of seafood and its environmental global effects, eco-labeling agencies began to brand exclusive product that meet specific requirements. Through our research, we aimed to evaluate the premium that consumers are willing to pay for eco-labeled seafood product. More specifically, we sought to evaluate how consumer education level, income, proximity to ocean, as well as preferences with regard to local produce effect consumers choices towards consuming local and sustainable seafood. Our survey results indicated that people who have “lower education” are willing to pay more for locally caught seafood than those who have “higher education” but are willing to pay less for sustainable seafood than those with “higher education”, people are willing to pay more for locally caught seafood the closer they live to the ocean, individuals with higher income are willing to pay more for both sustainability and locally caught seafood, and lastly consumers who “Often or Always” consume sustainable local produce were more likely to prefer local and sustainable seafood.

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Economics Commons

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