A big issue for the seafood industry at present is how it is perceived and viewed by some of the Australian community. While there is a small number of people who simply do not believe fishing or aquaculture is or can ever be sustainable because of the negative impact on the environment, a majority of the community see the fishing industry as necessary but just don't have enough information to know if it is sustainable or not.
The fishing and aquaculture community has a lot to be proud of when it comes to the sustainable practices it uses and the quality of fish it produces for the Australian public. But are these great qualities reflected in the image of the industry?
These are the sorts of questions FRDC asked the industry during the consultation process.
What comes to mind when you consider the image of the industry? Do you think you have the same perception as others, such as consumers? Is the image others hold of the industry positive or negative, accurate or misinformed? Could marketing play a role in enhancing or improving the public image of the industry?
What do we mean when we talk about the image of the fishing and aquaculture industry? When we refer to the image of seafood we are talking about how the industry is perceived by others, both within the industry or outside of it.
There exists a lot of research that demonstrates the reality of how the fishing and aquaculture industry operates and how it is perceived by the general Australian public. As the fishing and aquaculture community knows, the reality of the industry is a strongly regulated, highly sustainable industry operating at world's best practice. However the public perception can be quite different and the information it is based on can be inaccurate at times.
Turning inaccurate perceptions around and improving perceptions of the industry to reflect its reality is possible and marketing can potentially play a vital role in achieving this.