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Navigating uncertain waters: European public perceptions of integrated multi trophic aquaculture (IMTA)


Alexander, KA and Freeman, S and Potts, T, Navigating uncertain waters: European public perceptions of integrated multi trophic aquaculture (IMTA), Environmental Science and Policy, 61 pp. 230-237. ISSN 1462-9011 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2016.04.020


Issues such as food safety, quality, health, animal welfare and the environment have become more important for seafood consumers and the general public in recent years, particularly in relation to aquaculture. Moving from monoculture to integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA), may remedy some of the concerns held by the public relating to these issues. Early studies from North America have found that consumers, and indeed the public in general, are supportive of more sustainable aquaculture production systems such as IMTA. The study described here adds to our understanding of the general publicís perceptions of aquaculture in general and IMTA in particular, providing a European perspective. Furthermore, the study identifies factors which should be considered if advancing public recognition of IMTA. 2520 web-based survey questionnaires were compiled from across five countries (Ireland, Israel, Italy, Norway and the UK), aimed at investigating public understanding of aquaculture benefits and impacts, knowledge of IMTA, and also collecting demographic information. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression methods. This study determined that both positive and negative perceptions of aquaculture are held by the European general public and that they are influenced by a variety of geographic and demographic traits. The study also identified a lack of awareness of IMTA along with positive perceptions of the concept of integrated aquaculture, although the latter results should be treated with some caution. Based on the results, we conclude that there is clear scope to advance public awareness of the role of IMTA and this will be necessary to gain mainstream acceptance of this aquaculture practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, traditional aquaculture, perceptions, general public, Europe
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Human geography not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Alexander, KA (Dr Karen Alexander)
ID Code:108882
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2016-05-09
Last Modified:2017-11-21

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