SEAFOOD ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT
2020 - 2022
Seafood is central to the Mediterranean diet. Residents and visitors alike tend to prefer certain seafood species whose populations are rapidly declining in the Mediterranean Sea. Diversifying regional seafood preferences has the potential to reduce pressure on marine ecosystems while supporting local fishing economies.
Through case studies in Croatia, Italy, and Turkey, Global Footprint Network - in collaboration with WWF’s Marine Initiative - has worked to 1) quantify the environmental impact of fish and seafood consumption choices, 2) understand dietary preferences in these countries as well as residents’ awareness of small-scale fisheries and willingness to change their diets, and 3) ultimately shed light on the role dietary choices can play in the transition towards sustainability.
Data collected from fishers at the pilot sites for this project have contributed to improving how GFN calculates the Ecological Footprint of fisheries. Rather than focusing on just the quantity of fish caught, a variety of factors that affect the Ecological Footprint, such as labor, boat size, gear type, and unintended bycatch have been incorporated.
Meanwhile, surveys with almost 3’000 consumers from Croatia, Italy, and Turkey have allowed an increased understanding of consumer awareness of small-scale fisheries and their sustainability impact on marine ecosystems, consumer seafood purchase preferences and willingness to change dietary choices, and general knowledge of the main roadblocks to the changes in seafood consumption patterns.
Objectives / results
- Empower individuals to act together to create a long-lasting impact in their livelihoods and region.
- Reduce fishing pressure, specifically on fish species near the top of the food web, in the Mediterranean through increased consumer awareness.
- Interested in measuring your own Ecological Footprint and understanding how much food contributes to it? Calculate your own Footprint at www.footprintcalculator.org