Shockingly low consumer awareness of microplastics in fish

The survey revealed very low awareness levels around the use of antibiotics and other chemicals in sea-farmed fish with just over a third (36.5%) being aware of the risks.

The results are part of a survey of 2,000 consumers in the UK and US commissioned by Pure Salmon, a new land-based salmon farming company that is set to become a leading global producer of high-quality, sustainable and ethical Atlantic salmon. Consumers in each country were asked their opinions on issues ranging from microplastics in seafood to food miles and purchasing habits. While awareness levels around the environmental impact of sea farming is low, two thirds of consumers in the same survey said they would be more likely to purchase fish that has been sustainably farmed. Six in ten consumers also said they would also pay more for fish with strong sustainable and environmental credentials. It also revealed that when it comes to awareness of microplastics, UK consumers are ahead of the curve (55% awareness) compared to Americans (37%).

Four in five consumers (81%) said it was either important or very important to understand where fish comes from when making purchasing decisions. The survey also found that seven in ten consumers (72%) would be more likely to purchase fish if they knew it was produced close to their home, reducing food miles.

Pure Salmon has been developed by 8F Asset Management Pte. Ltd, a global asset management firm focused on impact investing.

Commenting on the results. Stephane Farouze, Chairman and 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 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.