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Preferences About Seafood Safety and Sustainability Among Very Young Children Public Deposited

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  • A group of 75 children from 3 to 5 years old from the earliest stages of a Spanish school were the target of an experimental test focused on the consequences of providing information about safety and fisheries sustainability on their preferences when choosing between different seafood presentations and labels. Both concepts were associated with two different logos, a crab for safety and an octopus for sustainability, which were introduced into a set of four different presentations of hake (steak with bone, boneless fillet, fish fingers and fishburger). These were the factors of an 8-sets fractional factorial design to perform a Discrete Choice analysis. Two measures were taken using the same design in a three months term. The first one reflects children’s choice on a set of visual stimuli representing nothing other than a dish of hake. Between the measures, the children participated in several weekly activities in which the concepts of food safety and fisheries sustainability were explained to them by their teachers and seafood professionals in technical outdoor visits. At the same time, the two cartoons were linked with the concepts and presented as assurances for safety and sustainability of fishery products, like in the case of a brand or certification logo. A test was performed one week before the second experiment, confirming that the kids, with less success in the youngest group, properly identify the logos, the ideas related with them, and the consequences and benefits of consuming seafood labeled with the logos. Results indicate that as the children better understood the association between the logos and the concepts of safety and sustainability, they exhibited higher preferences towards the crab and lower towards the octopus. This suggests that children are more concerned about their personal safety and the avoidance of diseases than about the environment and its preservation, and that the consequences of the first are more evident to them than those of the former. This conclusion is less stable in the youngest group (3 years old) where, in contrast with the other two, even the concept of seafood safety was diffusely understood.
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  • Fernández-Polanco, José, Simone Mueller, James A. Young and Ignacio Llorente. 2010. Preferences About Seafood Safety and Sustainability Among Very Young Children. 11 pages. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 13-16, 2010, Montpellier, France: Economics of Fish Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems: Balancing Uses, Balancing Costs. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2010.
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  • US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Division, Agence Française de Développement, Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, Ministère de L’Alimentation de L’Agriculture et de la Pêche, Ministère de l’Énergie, du Développement Durable et de la Mer, La Région Languedoc Rouslilon, Département Hérault, Montpellier Agglomèration, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, and AquaFish Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP).
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