Global Seafood Trade: Insights in Sustainability Messaging and Claims of the Major Producing and Consuming Regions



Malcorps W, Newton RW, Maiolo S, Eltholth M, Zhu C, Zhang W, Li S, Tlusty M & Little DC (2021) Global Seafood Trade: Insights in Sustainability Messaging and Claims of the Major Producing and Consuming Regions. Sustainability, 13 (21), Art. No.: 11720.

Seafood supply chains are complex, not least in the diverse origins of capture fisheries and through aquaculture production being increasingly shared across nations. The business-to-business (B2B) seafood trade is supported by seafood shows that facilitate networking and act as fora for signaling of perceptions and values. In the Global North, sustainability related certifications and messaging have emerged as an important driver to channel the demands of consumers, institutions, and lead firms. This study investigates which logos, certifications, and claims were presented at the exhibitor booths within five seafood trade shows in China, Europe, and USA. The results indicate a difference in the way seafood is advertised. Messaging at the Chinese shows had less of an emphasis on sustainability compared to that in Europe and the USA, but placed a greater emphasis on food safety and quality than on environmental concerns. These findings suggest cultural differences in the way seafood production and consumption is communicated through B2B messaging. Traders often act as choice editors for final consumers. Therefore, it is essential to convey production processes and sustainability issues between traders and the market. An understanding of culture, messaging strategies, and interpretation could support better communication of product characteristics such as sustainability between producers, traders, and consumers.

seafood trade; messaging; marketing; certification; sustainability

Sustainability: Volume 13, Issue 21

FundersEuropean Commission (Horizon 2020)
Publication date30/11/2021
Publication date online23/10/2021
Date accepted by journal17/10/2021
PublisherMDPI AG

People (4)


Dr Saihong Li
Dr Saihong Li

Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, French

Professor Dave Little
Professor Dave Little

Professor, Institute of Aquaculture

Mr Wesley Malcorps
Mr Wesley Malcorps

Tutor, Institute of Aquaculture

Dr Richard Newton
Dr Richard Newton

Lecturer in Resilient Food Systems, Institute of Aquaculture