Seafood consumption and the management of shellfish aquaculture

Journal Article (Journal Article)

As aquaculture has expanded, researchers and governing authorities have increasingly considered the nature and distribution of the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the industry. Much of that consideration, however, has focused primarily on areas where seafood is produced. This article draws on a case study of the North Carolina oyster aquaculture industry to explore how the preferences and behaviors associated with consuming aquaculture products as well as the management relevant priorities of state residents outside of producing areas might also be important considerations for governing authorities. The study draws on an analysis of North Carolina's management objectives for the shellfish aquaculture industry and compares those objectives to findings from a survey (n = 1040) of seafood consumers (who are also residents) in the state. Results show that consumers tended to prioritize ‘consumer-facing’ product attributes such as taste, health benefits and price over ‘production-facing’ attributes such as local origin, sustainability, economic or cultural benefits to local areas, and whether the product was farm-raised or wild-caught. Consumers also consistently stated a preference for wild-caught products and reported that oysters are consumed infrequently as compared to tuna, shrimp, and salmon (the ‘big three’). Response patterns varied geographically and across other respondent characteristics, highlighting the importance of both place and culture in shaping both seafood preferences and management objectives. The article concludes with a comparison of these patterns with the objectives of the State, revealing areas of alignment as well as areas of apparent disconnection. The article concludes with a discussion of management implications of the findings, suggesting that attention to seafood consumption patterns should be an important area of management attention in addition to issues associated with production.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Murray, GD; Fail, R; Fairbanks, L; Campbell, LM; D'Anna, L; Stoll, J

Published Date

  • April 1, 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 150 /

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0308-597X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.marpol.2023.105534

Citation Source

  • Scopus