There has been a growing interest in recent years in the potential use of product differentiation (through eco-type
labelling) as a means of promoting and rewarding the sustainable management and exploitation of fish stocks. This interest
is marked by the growing literature on the topic, exploring both the concept and the key issues associated with it. It reflects
a frustration among certain groups with the supply-side measures currently employed in fisheries management, which on
their own have proven insufficient to counter the negative incentive structures characterising open-access fisheries. The
potential encapsulated by product differentiation has, however, yet to be tested in the market place. One of the debates that
continues to accompany the concept is the nature and extent of the response of consumers to the introduction of labelled
seafood products. Though differentiated seafood products are starting to come onto the market, we are still essentially
dealing with a hypothetical market situation in terms of analysing consumer behaviour. Moving the debate from theoretical
extrapolation to one of empirical evidence, this paper presents the preliminary empirical results of a study undertaken in the
UK. The study aimed, amongst other things, to evaluate whether UK consumers are prepared to pay a premium for seafood
products that are differentiated on the grounds that the fish is either of (a) high quality or (b) comes from a sustainably
managed fishery. It also aimed to establish whether the quantity of fish products purchased would change. The results are
presented in this paper.
Jaffry, S., et al. Consumer Choice for Quality and Sustainability in Seafood Products: Empirical Findings from United Kingdom. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.