Keith Evans, Jordan LaBouff
As the world confronts the need for sustainable food systems, marine aquaculture serves as a key opportunity to produce safe, sustainable seafood. However, marine aquaculture still faces social resistance to its adoption with environmental and economic concerns leading to citizen and consumer hesitations regarding the industry and its products. In this study, we explore factors that lead to a citizen holding primarily positive or negative views of marine aquaculture with a focus on whether these views are driven by environmental or economic perceptions. Using a survey of Maine coastal residents (n=295), we find that individuals whose use of the Maine coast has been positively impacted by marine aquaculture were more likely to view marine aquaculture as positive, less likely to have concerns over the implementation of marine aquaculture farms, and more likely to view mariculture as both environmentally and economically positive. Additionally, individuals who were unemployed and experiencing more financial stress were more likely to view marine aquaculture as having negative economic impacts along with other associated negative impacts on communities. Finally, we find that individuals who think they need to know more about marine aquaculture and have high financial stress are less likely to view mariculture as economically positive. In contrast participants who thought they needed to know more about marine aquaculture and have low financial stress were more likely to view the industry as economically positive. Understanding public perception of marine aquaculture ensures that coastal managers can make decisions that are consistent with preferred uses of Maine’s coastline
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Wyatt, Bruce, "Citizen Perceptions of the Sustainability of Marine Aquaculture" (2023). Honors College. 790.