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Does seafood knowledge relate to more sustainable consumption?

Cheila Almeida (Centre for Environmental and Sustainability Research, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, AND, Department of Sustainable Food Production, SIK-The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology, Göteborg, Sweden)
Themistoklis Altintzoglou (Nofima Market, (NOFIMA) Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, Tromsø, Norway)
Henrique Cabral (Centre of Oceanography, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)
Sofia Vaz (Centre for Environmental and Sustainability Research, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 February 2015




Portugal is a country with one of the highest seafood consumption per capita in the world. The purpose of this paper is to understand the Portuguese knowledge and attitudes towards seafood and relate it to consumers’ environmental conscious.


Using an internet-based survey the authors investigated the relation of socio-demographic variables to consumption frequency and how knowledge about seafood is associated with interest in different information when purchasing seafood products.


Results demonstrate consumption of a high diversity of species. Tuna and cod are the top species related to convenience and food traditions. There is a preference to consume seafood mostly at home and prepared grilled. Differences between higher and lower knowledgeable consumers’ related to seafood, show that the first ones have a more diversified use of species and high prevalence of small pelagic fish.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are influenced by the sample obtained, which over-represents well-educated and higher income people. Moreover the self-reported consumption can be biased by individuals own perceptions and different seafood products. Better estimations of consumption frequency could result from asking more detailed information, as such as by species or meal occasions.

Practical implications

Portuguese consumers have high knowledge about seafood but it is not necessarily related to sustainable choices. To help in sustainable seafood choices it might be more effective to promote existing habits based on Portuguese traditions that still are good alternatives for the marine environment.


A higher consumer’s knowledge does not necessarily mean more sustainability.



Almeida, C., Altintzoglou, T., Cabral, H. and Vaz, S. (2015), "Does seafood knowledge relate to more sustainable consumption?", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 2, pp. 894-914.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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