You are here

An assessment of the potential for sustainable seafood practices in Southwest Florida

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
The environmental costs associated with seafood production are at an all-time high. Eighty percent of the world marine fish stocks, for which assessment information is available, are fully exploited, overexploited, or have already suffered a collapse (United Nations, 2010). Despite the issues associated with overfishing, seafood consumption continues to increase, and supply of certain species can no longer meet demand. According to SeafoodSource, a seafood market and research firm, two-thirds of seafood are consumed in restaurants. Restaurant decision-makers (owners, chefs and managers) who are responsible for purchasing seafood, can therefore play an important role in mitigating the environmental impacts surrounding seafood production. The purpose of this exploratory study was to evaluate if southwest Florida restaurant decision-makers are making responsible, sustainable, seafood purchasing decisions. Forty-two decision-makers agreed to participate in the study. A combination of surveys and interviews were used to gather information. The goals of this research were to 1) determine if sustainable seafood practices are currently being used in southwest Florida restaurants; 2) identify decision-maker knowledge and attitudes toward sustainable seafood; 3) evaluate if educating decision-makers about sustainable seafood would change their purchasing habits; 4) determine motivating factors driving seafood selection and purchasing; 5) characterize the attitudes and awareness of decisionmakers about marine conservation; 6) evaluate decision-maker knowledge and sentiment related to seafood certifications, advisory lists and online purchasing options; and 7) determine decision-maker willingness to use sustainable seafood products. This study produced several major outcomes. Unsustainable fish species like Chilean sea bass, bluefin tuna and red snapper are being served in over 50% of the participating restaurants. Overall, decision-maker knowledge on sustainable seafood was limited. The majority of decision-makers did not make major changes in their purchasing habits even after being "educated" on the subject of sustainable seafood. Decisionmakers showed a disconnect between their own actions (serving unsustainable fish) and environmental consequences. Their knowledge of sustainable seafood certifications and advisory organizations was limited. The majority of decision-makers equate farm-raised fish as being sustainable. Restaurant owners know the least about sustainable seafood while chefs are the most knowledgeable. Chefs in fine dining and upscale restaurants know more about sustainable seafood than those in casual dining establishments. More education and awareness is needed throughout the restaurant industry in southwest Florida to effect any substantial change toward sustainable seafood practices.
Title: An assessment of the potential for sustainable seafood practices in Southwest Florida.
5 views
0 downloads
Name(s): Porter, Emily Susan, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Thesis
Issuance: single unit
Date Issued: 2013
Physical Form: bound thesis
Extent: 167 pgs.
Language(s): English
eng
Abstract/Description: The environmental costs associated with seafood production are at an all-time high. Eighty percent of the world marine fish stocks, for which assessment information is available, are fully exploited, overexploited, or have already suffered a collapse (United Nations, 2010). Despite the issues associated with overfishing, seafood consumption continues to increase, and supply of certain species can no longer meet demand. According to SeafoodSource, a seafood market and research firm, two-thirds of seafood are consumed in restaurants. Restaurant decision-makers (owners, chefs and managers) who are responsible for purchasing seafood, can therefore play an important role in mitigating the environmental impacts surrounding seafood production. The purpose of this exploratory study was to evaluate if southwest Florida restaurant decision-makers are making responsible, sustainable, seafood purchasing decisions. Forty-two decision-makers agreed to participate in the study. A combination of surveys and interviews were used to gather information. The goals of this research were to 1) determine if sustainable seafood practices are currently being used in southwest Florida restaurants; 2) identify decision-maker knowledge and attitudes toward sustainable seafood; 3) evaluate if educating decision-makers about sustainable seafood would change their purchasing habits; 4) determine motivating factors driving seafood selection and purchasing; 5) characterize the attitudes and awareness of decisionmakers about marine conservation; 6) evaluate decision-maker knowledge and sentiment related to seafood certifications, advisory lists and online purchasing options; and 7) determine decision-maker willingness to use sustainable seafood products. This study produced several major outcomes. Unsustainable fish species like Chilean sea bass, bluefin tuna and red snapper are being served in over 50% of the participating restaurants. Overall, decision-maker knowledge on sustainable seafood was limited. The majority of decision-makers did not make major changes in their purchasing habits even after being "educated" on the subject of sustainable seafood. Decisionmakers showed a disconnect between their own actions (serving unsustainable fish) and environmental consequences. Their knowledge of sustainable seafood certifications and advisory organizations was limited. The majority of decision-makers equate farm-raised fish as being sustainable. Restaurant owners know the least about sustainable seafood while chefs are the most knowledgeable. Chefs in fine dining and upscale restaurants know more about sustainable seafood than those in casual dining establishments. More education and awareness is needed throughout the restaurant industry in southwest Florida to effect any substantial change toward sustainable seafood practices.
Identifier: fgcu_ETD_0520 (IID)
Note(s): Degree Awarded: Master of Arts
Department: College of Arts & Sciences
Subject(s): Seafood processing
Restaurant management.
Sustainable food, fiber, and forestry systems
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fgcu/fd/fgcu_ETD_0520
Use and Reproduction: Creator holds copyright.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FGCU