Researchers at NUI Galway and Athlone Institute of Technology have launched a survey to better understand Irish consumers knowledge of seafood packaging and its waste management.
The survey is being carried out simultaneously in Spain and Portugal and is led by the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere.
Ireland has one of the lowest levels of consumption of seafood in Western Europe, with very different consumption patterns than other countries. For example, Ireland tends to consume on average higher portions of packaged or frozen seafood whereas in other European countries, fresh seafood is consumed. In 2017, it was estimated that seafood consumption in Ireland was 23 kg/capita. Whereas in Portugal, which has the highest consumption rate for seafood in Europe at 57 kg/capita.
The results of the survey will be used to aid in a better understanding of the differences in seafood consumption and waste management in Ireland, Spain and Portugal. Ultimately, the results will support the development of public policies that will promote efficient use of seafood packaging.
The study is part of NEPTUNUS, an Interreg Atlantic Area funded project that aims to support the sustainable development of the seafood sector in the Atlantic area (Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and the UK) by developing tools for eco-labelling and low impact strategies for production and consumption.
Dr Eoghan Clifford, senior lecturer in the College of Science and Engineering at NUI Galway and NEPTUNUS principle investigator, said: “Given these large differences in consumption and the type of seafood products purchased the results of this survey can help to close a knowledge gap in Irish seafood consumption trends, behaviours, and knowledge of seafood packaging. These results will be useful for policy makers and for future research into how Irish consumers can increase their intake of this nutritious food and add to their understanding of seafood packaging.”
The survey, which is made up of 25 questions and takes less than 10 minutes to complete, is available in both Irish and English