Consumer perspectives on theoretical certification schemes for the marine aquarium trade

Militz, Thane A., Foale, Simon, Kinch, Jeff, and Southgate, Paul C. (2017) Consumer perspectives on theoretical certification schemes for the marine aquarium trade. Fisheries Research, 193. pp. 33-42.

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Certification schemes are a component of sustainable industry development that can help empower consumers to support environmentally friendly and ethical commodities with their purchase decisions. At present, there is no unified certification scheme within the marine aquarium trade, limiting the capacity for consumers to differentiate sustainable products from others. To assess the extent to which consumers show preference for certified marine aquarium fishes (Teleostei) in the current market climate, an online survey of 510 marine aquarium consumers was conducted over a six month period to determine how certification schemes, presented under different themes, would influence their buying decisions when compared to other attributes of potential importance. Using a Likert five point scale, it was determined that consumers placed significantly higher importance on a certification theme of industry best practice (3.99 +/- 0.05) than themes of environmental sustainability (3.77 +/- 0.05) or supporting indigenous fishers (3.36 +/- 0.06; F-pseudo(14,F-7141) = 212.08, P<0.01). The only surveyed attributes of greater importance than industry best practice certification were a fish's health (4.81 +/- 0.06), aquarium suitability (4.56 +/- 0.03), and the fish species (4.21 +/- 0.04). A high percentage of surveyed consumers were willing to pay a price premium for fishes that were certified under the themes of environmental sustainability (90.5%), adherence to industry best practice (91.0%), and supporting indigenous fishers (82.6%). This indicates potential for the absorption of the costs of implementing certification schemes by exporters, wholesalers, and retailers. Further analysis revealed consumer predispositions towards certain certification themes that may be helpful in establishing consumer confidence in future industry certification schemes. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item ID: 50462
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6763
Keywords: aquarium fisheries, live reef fish, eco-labelling, sustainable development, supply-chain, online survey
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 7 of the following PhD thesis: < Militz, Thane A. (2017) A review of the Papua New Guinea marine aquarium fishery. PhD thesis, James Cook University>, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), National Fisheries Authority (NFA)
Projects and Grants: ACIAR project FIS/2010/054
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 09:21
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8398 Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production > 839899 Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production not elsewhere classified @ 50%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8301 Fisheries - Aquaculture > 830199 Fisheries - Aquaculture not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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