Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Sustainable Seafood: Improving Environmental Attitudes, Not Increasing Product Information, Can Lead to Greater Willingness to Pay Public Deposited

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  • Marine fish stocks and associated ecosystems are currently in a grave state, with 90 percent of worldwide fisheries considered fully fished or overfished. Due to policy and legislation proving timely and expensive, a market-based solution is needed to expedite sustainable change. Unfortunately, eco-labels, such as Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Dolphin Safe have not been effective in eliciting a greater consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for sustainable products. I distributed an online experimental survey to over 529 U.S. consumers to test whether providing concise, explanatory information on product packaging would elicit a higher WTP than products that just contained the traditional MSC label. In addition, I tested how environmental attitude, industry knowledge, and socio-demographic characteristics influence WTP. I found that there was no difference in WTP among products whose packaging included only a traditional MSC label, explanatory information, or a combination of the two. In contrast, environmental attitude played a significant role in predicting WTP: the more pro-environmental a consumer’s attitude was, the more they were WTP for sustainable shrimp and salmon products. Like many other studies have found, product price was a main barrier in WTP. Improving consumers’ environmental attitudes while focusing marketing campaigns on consumers that already hold pro-environmental attitudes may help boost sales and demand for sustainable seafood products, helping expedite vital sustainable change to the commercial fishing industry.
Date Awarded
  • 2018-01-01
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Last Modified
  • 2019-12-02
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