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South Africans Willing To Change Seafood Buying Habits

1 in 2 South African shoppers are willing to change their seafood buying habits amid rising eco-anxiety about the future of the oceans – global survey

New findings released today by the international ocean NGO Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) show growing concern among the public around the world about the state of the world’s oceans, accompanied by a rise in those saying their buying habits can make a difference to this threat.

The independent survey of attitudes to seafood and ocean health – carried out by GlobeScan in 23 countries and involving 25,000 people – is the largest of its kind in the world. It found that 93% of South African respondents were worried about the state of the oceans.

Top of the locals’ concerns about the ocean were pollution (64%), overfishing (45%), and illegal and prohibited fishing (36%). With over a third of the world’s fish stocks overfished and climate change changing marine ecosystems, the survey – released on the UN’s World Ocean Day – shows consumers are more aware than ever of the impact their choices have on the oceans. 

Amongst the key findings, there has been a sharp increase (8%) from two years ago in seafood consumers who believe their choices can make a difference to the health of the oceans. More than three-quarters (78%) of South African consumers surveyed believe that people should eat seafood from sustainable sources – that is above the global average of 73%. 

Globally, the top reasons for protecting the oceans were that healthy oceans are necessary for the future health of the planet, (63%), to prevent ocean wildlife from going extinct (60%) while 51% said they wanted their children and grandchildren to have healthy oceans. 

MSC launches exciting consumer awareness campaign this World Ocean Day

To coincide with World Ocean Day, the MSC has released a series of short films on what it takes to fish sustainably, showcasing the innovations and fisheries management techniques undertaken by MSC certified wild-capture fisheries to help safeguard the ocean. These short films will be shown in 23 markets around the globe on World Ocean Day and beyond.

Louanne Mostert, Senior Communications Manager of MSC in South Africa, said: 

“To mark this annual conservation moment, we developed a campaign dubbed ‘An MSC Ocean’ that highlights how MSC certified fisheries help to protect marine species and habitats. World Ocean Day, widely celebrated in South Africa in June each year, is all about what people around the world are doing to protect our shared ocean, and the MSC campaign brings our positive impact stories to life in an intriguing and fun way for mainstream consumers. We trust this campaign will help consumers better understand how they help drive positive change on the water when they buy seafood carrying the blue MSC ecolabel.”

Visit the campaign page here: An MSC Ocean | Marine Stewardship Council  

About the MSC: The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation which sets globally recognised, science-based standards for sustainable fishing and the seafood supply chain. The MSC ecolabel and certification program recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices and is helping create a more sustainable seafood market.

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