New Zealanders' Perceptions of Green-Lipped Mussels and Sustainability

Author: Panton, Charlotte Grace Davies

Date: 2019

Publisher: University of Otago

Type: Thesis

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University of Otago


We need to change the way we eat. Compounded by issues such as land-use intensification, the impacts of climate change and the overfishing of the ocean, our ability to feed an evergrowing population is becoming compromised. To feed the world now and in the future, many countries are shifting towards developing more sustainable food production. With increasing demand for seafood and decreasing fish stocks, traditional commercial fishing practices are no longer feasible. One potential solution is aquaculture, the farming of fish or seafood. Shellfish farming, which is inherently more sustainable than finfish farming due to low input requirements and lower environmental impact, is one form of aquaculture on the rise. The New Zealand government aims to reach $1 billion NZD in revenue by 2025 from the New Zealand aquaculture industry. Public support for continued aquaculture development is key to the sector’s success. Geographically isolated from other countries and known worldwide for being ‘clean and green’, New Zealand also has one of the largest exclusive economic zones in the world, the majority of which has not been utilised. This unused marine space has the potential to significantly increase aquaculture production. Green-lipped mussels are a uniquely New Zealand product. This bivalve species, Perna canaliculus, is endemic to the country, are high in protein, lipids and omega-3s, and have known health benefits. In particular, greenlipped mussel farming has been argued to be one of the most sustainable ways to produce animal protein for human consumption. Green-lipped mussels made up the largest proportion of the total revenue from aquaculture sales in 2017. With the mussel industry set to expand and develop further, it is important to understand public opinion around this continued growth. This thesis reviews some key aspects of the concepts of sustainability and sustainable aquaculture, and examines New Zealanders' perceptions of green-lipped mussels and sustainability. An online survey was used to gauge current perceptions of the industry and measured the extent of support for the industry’s continued sustainable development, including perceptions of sustainability and sustainable development. This empirical research complements the creative component, a recipe book entitled Green Lips: A Week of Green- Lipped Mussel Recipes & Stories. This thesis concludes with a discussion of the rationale for the recipe book as a science communication approach to build awareness of sustainable food choices and informed food consumption.

Subjects: sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals, New Zealand, shellfish, aquaculture, green-lipped mussels, food security, perceptions, survey, science communication

Citation: ["Panton, C. G. D. (2019). New Zealanders’ Perceptions of Green-Lipped Mussels and Sustainability (Thesis, Master of Science Communication). University of Otago. Retrieved from"]

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