Brits would be willing to pay more for fish that has been farmed using environmentally friendly methods, according to new research.
It found six in 10 of us (61 per cent) are more willing to do so for seafood that is branded as ‘sustainable’ and environmentally friendly.
Indeed, the study of 2,000 consumers across the UK and US showed two thirds (66 per cent) would be more likely to buy fish if it was sustainably farmed.
A majority (81 per cent) also said it was important to understand where fish comes from when deciding what to buy, and 71 per cent would be more likely to make a purchase if the fish was sourced locally.
The same research, by Pure Salmon, found less than half (36 per cent) of us are aware the fish we eat contains micro-plastics and chemicals found in fish from the sea. Although, it also found UK consumers knew more about the presence of plastics (55 per cent) than Americans (37 per cent).
Microplastics – tiny pieces of plastic ranging from 5mm to 100 nanometres in diameter – wind up inside fish, meaning the average European seafood eater could be consuming up to 11,000 types of microplastic per year, according the Environmental Pollution Journal.
Pure Salmon is a new land-based salmon farming company developed by global management firm 8F Asset Management.
Stephane Farouze, founder of 8F, said: “Our new research shows how consumers increasingly want to purchase locally-sourced, sustainable fish which doesn’t damage the ocean and is free of any microplastics, chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and pollutants.
“As larger numbers of consumers become aware of these issues, particularly those associated with the farming of fish in sea-cages, we expect to see increasing demand for Pure Salmon’s sustainably farmed Atlantic salmon.
“Producing sustainable food without further damaging our oceans is paramount to us and is the socially responsible choice for consumer health, the environment and the economy.”
The recently launched company plans to offer a range of premium, sustainable products, starting this spring with smoked salmon. By rearing the fish near to where it will be consumed in an uncontaminated environment with complete bio-security, Pure Salmon provides a longer product shelf life that is fully traceable, free of chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and microplastics, and helps to keep carbon emissions and transport costs low.
The brand uses a technology called Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) in its land-based farms, a proven and scalable method of aquaculture. This means the fish grow in the healthiest living conditions possible that closely replicate the positive qualities of their natural environment. As the process does not use sea water or come into contact with the sea, the result is a product that is free from pollutants.