Cutler Institute staff members contributed to a recently published paper describing how they studied the factors that influence consumer attitudes toward aquaculture and annual expenditure on aquaculture products.
The analysis was composed of two parts. First, they estimated the effects of several covariates of interest on annual seafood expenditure using a two-way censored regression model due to the survey data's nature. Their results indicated that college-educated consumers, aware of aquaculture operations in their area and more aware about where their seafood is produced, tend to spend more on farm-raised seafood. Second, attitude indices were used as dependent variables in three distinct logit regressions, one for each of the respective seafood categories (i.e., finfish, shellfish, and sea vegetables). For both the finfish and shellfish regressions, the results suggested that being older, being more informed about East Coast aquaculture operations, desiring at least state-level detail for production location, and looking closely at seafood labels more frequently were all associated with a lower probability of having a negative attitude toward aquaculture. Few explanatory variables had statistically significant effects in the sea vegetable regression, which is likely due to the low number of respondents in the sample aware of sea vegetable aquaculture operations (approximately 23%).