Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/15821
The current fisheries crisis has been well documented in both the literature and popular media. Numerous programs have been introduced in recent years to promote sustainable seafood purchasing decisions, one of which is the Ocean Wise program, developed and managed by the Vancouver Aquarium (Canada). This study examined the factors that motivate restaurateurs to, or deter restaurateurs from, making sustainable choices and becoming a part of the Ocean Wise program. Based on a review of the literature, a conceptual framework was developed outlining a set of personal, business and economic factors that were expected to play a role in restaurateur’s decisions. Interviews were
conducted with 70 Vancouver restaurateurs (owners, head chefs), 34 of whom were members of the Ocean Wise program, and 36 of whom were non- or ex-members of the program. Data from the Ocean Wise program were analysed to examine trends, and menus were analysed for percentage and price of sustainable items. The Ocean Wise program is growing in Vancouver and across Canada. The study
determined that restaurateurs committed to the Ocean Wise program were more likely to adhere to a set of green values. While general environmental attitudes were unrelated to membership in the program, specific environmental attitudes related to knowledge of
sustainable seafood were associated with membership. Ocean Wise restaurateurs felt that membership played an important role in creating the image they sought for their restaurants. Economic factors did not appear to play a major role in decisions about
membership. The program was seen as highly trustworthy by both member and nonmember restaurants. It appears that a niche market for sustainable seafood restaurants is developing, and this study seeks to help Ocean Wise to take advantage of this opportunity.
Recommendations are included for how the program can improve and continue to grow.
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