Over Two-Thirds Of Irish Consumers Seek Ecolabels While Buying Fish, Seafood, Study Finds

By Dayeeta Das
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Over Two-Thirds Of Irish Consumers Seek Ecolabels While Buying Fish, Seafood, Study Finds

More than two-thirds (68%) of consumers in Ireland look for an ecolabel when shopping for fish and seafood, a recent survey conducted by YouGov for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has unveiled.

The report, released ahead of World Oceans Day on 8 June, is based on a survey involving more than 2,000 consumers in Ireland.

Nearly half (47%) of shoppers consider the price of fish while purchasing seafood, making it the second biggest concern for consumers this year after freshness at 52%.

Around 49% of respondents consume seafood once a week, with most shoppers buying it from supermarkets rather than independents and fishmongers, data showed.

Eighty-three percent of the respondents believe that supermarket claims related to ecolabels are reinforced by independent organisations.


'Increasing Public Concern'

Seth McCurry, senior commercial manager for MSC UK and Ireland, 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.

“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 over-fishing and make sure that we are making conscious choices to protect such a valuable food source.”

Other Findings

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents believe that their choices while buying fish and seafood can make a difference to the health of the oceans.

Consuming only from sustainable sources was deemed important by 81% of respondents, when asked about general perspectives on ocean sustainability.


Moreover, 75% find it crucial to switch to different species to support sustainability, while 82% of those surveyed believe in ensuring the traceability of fish.

McCurry added, “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 coldwater prawns and Irish mussels.”

According to estimates from the MSC, an extra 16 million tonnes of wild seafood could be harvested each year, if global fisheries were better managed.

This would meet the protein needs of 72 million people, while also significantly reducing iron and vitamin deficiencies.

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