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

Wesley Malcorps, Richard W. Newton, Silvia Maiolo , Mahmoud Eltholth, Changbo Zhu , Wenbo Zhang, Saihong Li, Michael F. Tlusty, David C. Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seafood supply chains are complex, not least in the diverse origins of capture fisheries and through aquaculture production being increasingly shared across nations. The busi-ness-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 relat-ed 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.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date23 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2021


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