Youngsters most anxious about ocean pollution, climate change

Younger South Africans are more concerned about the impact of climate change on the world’s ocean’s than their older compatriots‚ a global consumer survey has found.

One quarter of all 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed in SA consider climate change one of the most serious issues affecting the ocean environment‚ compared with just 17% of those older than 55.

Younger South Africans are also more positive about the role of retailers in promoting sustainable fishing‚ according to the survey conducted by global seafood certification non-profit the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Worldwide‚ a greater proportion of consumers are demanding eco-friendly seafood that has been independently verified. Of the 25‚000 survey participants across 25 countries‚ 72% would like to hear more from companies about sustainability of seafood products (up from 68% in the last survey two years ago).

SA’s hake trawl fishery is council-certified‚ which allows the product access to lucrative foreign markets where MSC-certification is a trade requirement.

MSC marketing head Richard Stobart said the survey showed increasing global trust in the MSC brand. “This survey shows that consumers really do care about the oceans‚” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“But with so much confusion about how consumers can help‚ it’s more important than ever to cut through the clutter and deliver an easy way for people to choose sustainable seafood.

“With a rising consumer focus on price and the finding that more than half of consumers report eating seafood weekly‚ it is critically important that they have a range of clearly labelled sustainable options at the right price point.

“We’re pleased to see that trust in the blue MSC label remains very high and our focus continues to be to drive understanding of the MSC blue fish label.”

-Bobby Jordan


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