Estimating the public's preferences for sustainable aquaculture: A country comparison

Suzanne van Osch, Stephen Hynes, Shirra Freeman, Tim O'Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) is an alternative to the monoculture of fin fish species, in which several species are combined in the production process. This can have environmental advantages such as a lower environmental impact through nutrient cycling and natural filters; and can have economic advantages consisting of increased efficiency, product diversification and potential price premiums. In this paper, a choice experiment (CE) was conducted through an online survey in Ireland, the UK, Italy, Israel and Norway, to assess how the public makes decisions on what type of salmon or sea bream to buy based on the attributes of the product. Analysis assessed the Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) for more sustainable produced seafood using a Latent Class multinomial logit modelling approach. In the experiment, an ecolabel was used to distinguish between regularly produced (monoculture) products and sustainably produced (IMTA) products. The general public in each country showed a positive attitude towards the development of such an ecolabel and towards the payment of a price premium for the more sustainably produced salmon or sea bream.

Original languageEnglish
Article number569
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 22 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The authors wish to acknowledge the funding received from the Marine Institute, under the Marine Research Programme 2014-2020 by the Irish Government (Grant-Aid Agreement No. PBA/SE/16/01). The data was collected for the Increasing Industrial Resource Efficiency in European Mariculture (IDREEM) project of the EU 7th Framework Programme under grant agreement number 308571.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the author.


  • Aquaculture
  • Choice experiments
  • Ecolabel
  • IMTA
  • Latent class
  • WTP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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