Aquatic product consumption patterns and perceptions among the Chinese middle class

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Journal Article
Regional Studies in Marine Science, 2016, 7 pp. 1 - 9
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© 2016 Elsevier B.V. The Chinese market for aquatic products is the largest in the world, and growing rapidly. An increasingly large proportion of Chinese aquatic product consumption is coming from imported sources, making the market of high significance not only for stakeholders in China, but from around the world. Yet little is understood about the key characteristics of this market. In this paper we surveyed 300 middle-class urban consumers of aquatic products in Beijing and Shanghai about patterns of aquatic product consumption and attitudes towards sustainability. We asked about the major types of aquatic products consumed, the forms of aquatic products consumed, the different types of venues aquatic products are consumed in, the purchasing location of aquatic products, and the different types of motivation behind aquatic product consumption. We also examined awareness of and attitudes towards a range of public awareness campaigns on environmentalism, understandings of the endangered status of different types of aquatic products, and attitudes towards a range of topics related to sustainability and consumption. Our results indicate limited levels of awareness on a range of issues to do with sustainability among urban middle-class Chinese consumers. Education level was closely correlated with support for Marine Stewardship Council concepts and environmental advertisements. Our results highlight some of the opportunities and challenges faced by both government and market actors in improving sustainability in the Chinese consumer market.
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