Improving awareness―Poor awareness

Poor awareness is one of the main problems when it comes to sustainable seafood. Below are some data from the survey on sustainable seafood.

Improving awareness

Poor awareness


・In Japan, the awareness of sustainable seafood is very poor.
・There focus of seller in Japan and foreign countries are different.

Although sustainable seafood has been suggested to be one of the solutions to this problems, there are many difficulties in putting this method into practice. One of the challenge is how to raise the awareness of sustainable seafood.
A survey has been done in Japan as well as internationally to specifically understand how exactly is the awareness in Japan and whether there is a difference in awareness when comparing Japan and overseas.

We have crestedthe graph below using data from our survey.
The results of our survey (Are you aware of the sustainable seafood activities?)

In the survey, at first we asked 356 Japanese whether they are aware of sustainable seafood or not, 80% answered "No". It means that 4 out of 5 people are not aware of sustainable seafood. On the other hand, according to the survey of 81 people from 33 countries, 27% answered "Yes". We can tell the level of awareness in Japan is still very poor.

The results of our survey (Do you know MSC eco label?)

Secondly, we conducted a survey about the awareness of MSC eco label in Ochanomizu University senior high school, 221 people of 10th and 11th grade students participated.
While only 2% answered "I know it", 16% answered "I've seen it before", and the other 82% answered "I don't know it and I've never seen it". In other words, over 80% participants didn't have any knowledge about the MSC eco label. On the other hand, according to the survey of 81 people from 33 countries, a larger percentage were aware of the MSC eco-lable when compared to Japan. However it would be a false statement to say that it is widely known.

The results of our survey (Do you know ASC logo?)

As in the graph, the result for ASC logo is very similar if not the same to the MSC eco label.
The date above indicates that we must raise awareness in Japan and spread the concept of sustainable seafood globally. If sustainable seafood could be nationally and globally known, our oceans' future will be better and better.

The results of our survey (Would you like to buy environmentally seafood even if it is little bit more expensive?)

In the same survey conducted in our school, we also asked the question that whether you would like to buy environmentally seafood even it is little bit expensive. More than half of the participants answered "Yes".

Therefore, we believe that raising awareness of sustainable seafood would lead to the increase in eel population and survival of the species.

For the seller
Efforts from the seller is extremely important in raising the awareness in Japan.
First, let's look in how many products with approved marks have been sold in supermarkets across the country.
We visited several supermarkets within Japan but only one certain supermarket had approved products for sale. In the supermarkets' seafood section, a lot of MSC and ASC approved products were available. On the package, the approved mark was very placed near the product name clearly. Additionally, on the advertisement stickers, it had a picture of the MSC approved "eco-label" as well as a note written "Environmentally friendly and MSC approved, Shishamo with roe".
We believed that if the mark could be placed in a more noticeable fashion, the customers would naturally become more and more aware of the mark. More importantly, even consumer know little about those approved marks, as long as they could understand the meaning of it at the moment they see the mark by explanation, we are sure most of them will buy those sustainable seafood products.

The products had the mark  The products had the mark
Take permission to take the photos, and shooting by the member.

Furthermore, let's see how it goes in other countries. One of our students who is studying in Netherlands helped us to collect the data. The data is astonishing. In the seafood section, almost all of the products had the mark and it was actually harder to find those without the mark.

The supermarket in Netherlands  The supermarket in Netherlands
Shooting by the international student in Ochanimizu University senior high school.

Although efforts in raising the awareness of sustainable seafood marks are seen in the supermarkets are seen in Japan, only few sustainable seafood can be seen in Japan. Japan calls for consumptions with consideration of environment.

What solution did author take for this problem?