Sustainable Seafood Availability Depends Upon the Predominant Language of an Establishment’s Customers/Purveyors
Mentor:Sean Anderson, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Resource Management Director, Pacific Institute for Restoration Ecology (PIRatE), California State University Channel Islands
The word “sustainable” has come to acquire different connotations across our various scientific and non-scientific factions. We therefore hypothesized that the general public knowledge of seafood origin and familiarity with concepts of sustainability will be confusing and/or unfamiliar to them. We tested this by exploring the effect of language on both purveyors’ familiarity with sustainability-related terminology and consumers’ general awareness of sustainability-related issues surrounding seafood. Our methodology consisted of surveying 15 English speaking restaurants and 10 Spanish speaking restaurants, as well as 13 Spanish speaking markets and 10 English speaking markets primarily in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. This survey explores the sustainability of seafood offerings, the amount of information available to purchasers of that particular seafood, and whether or not consumers are interested in knowing where their seafood comes from and how it was produced. This allows for us to compare both the information and purchasing options that are available to English-speaking seafood consumers and Spanish speaking communities. We have found that as a result of the survey questions asked and the answers given there is a significant contrast between the knowledge of an English speaking establishment and Spanish speaking establishment. This discovery was made though the questions asked at each establishment and getting a percentage total on each question asked, followed by a comparison on the difference of language. This method allowed for us to see how well the population is aware as a community, and allowed for us to see the individual language in comparison. The contrasts between the establishments suggest that with modest outreach efforts there is much to gain.