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Image"Mention seafood to most Australians and it conjures up a kaleidoscope of wonderful images and memories. Seafood is not only visually exciting and exotic; it tastes wonderful and is healthy and versatile. Best of all, as Australians we are blessed with oceans, rivers, lakes and other waterways that provide abundant supply and dazzling variety for all to enjoy. But despite this wonderful reputation, seafood is generally not well understood in this country by the public at large." Geoff Jansz, Australian Seafood Users Manual, 2000

Ensuring people understand the value, quality and importance of Australia's fishing and aquaculture industry is fundamental to securing their support for the industry.

This means education is vital to the industry. And it doesn't just apply to those outside of the industry, but to those within it too.

What do we mean when we talk about seafood education?

Seafood education is the process of increasing what people (the community, consumers, government) know about an issue – fishing practices right through to product information – what it is, how you care for it, prepare and cook it and why it is good for you (Omega 3's).

We are talking about how all the people engaged in the industry – be it through work, personal interest or the simple fact they love to eat seafood – and how they can remain informed and up to date on a range of aspects of the industry. This is important because what people understand of the industry feeds into how they perceive it.

Considerations for discussion

Education can play a vital role in not only improving understanding of the industry, but also in aligning with other benefits such as promotion of the industry and stronger cohesion and unity from within the industry.

  • What are your thoughts on education of the industry and external stakeholders?
  • Could more be done? If so where would you focus your attention – to particular sectors or on the industry as a whole?
  • What role could marketing play in future effort to introduce education initiatives?
  • Could there be value in undertaking an internal marketing campaign to industry to inform on particular issues e.g. The value, importance and messaging around sustainability of the industry.
  • Would efforts be better focused on marketing to external stakeholders on ◦Specific issues e.g. Sustainability of the industry?
    - Specific sectors e.g. Sectors that are low profile or sectors that generate significant revenue?

Case studies

Additional information:

Some other sources of information that may assist you in your discussion on this topic are available here:

Comments

profile imageAnthony Mercer
Submitted by Anthony Mercer on Sat, 2014-11-15 16:47

The public is seriously dumb when it comes to our product. It's a massive job but they need help

profile imageJohn Susman
Submitted by John Susman on Sun, 2014-11-16 16:57

Develop an industry training programme beyond the catching and growing sectors. A certified fish monger programme could build a capability at the last 9 metres of the supply chain which currently doesn't exist

profile imageSam Gordon
Submitted by Sam Gordon on Sun, 2014-11-16 16:59

There is a level of education required at every level in the supply chain. ie. seafood wholesale sales reps.

profile imageRachel King
Submitted by Rachel King on Sat, 2014-11-15 16:50

This is an important one. Consumer research suggests that there is confusion about what to do with seafood.

profile imageLen Stephens
Submitted by Len Stephens on Sat, 2014-11-15 16:51

Let's really work on a description of this area. Is it smart to tell the consumers we are going to educate them? Should we not try to delight our customers?

profile imageRenee Vajtauer
Submitted by Renee Vajtuer on Sat, 2014-11-15 16:54

Who is being educated? How will education differ from promotion

profile imageRachel King
Submitted by Rachel King on Sun, 2014-11-16 16:55

Assuming the 'target' audience is consumer followed by retail & restaurant - Good question

profile imageHelen Jenkins
Submitted by Helen Jenkins (not verified) on Fri, 2014-12-19 10:07

I am excited that the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee - requirements for labelling ofod and seafood products, final report tabled yesterday had one recommendation - that the exemption of CoOL under standard 1.2.11 of the ANZFS Code for cooked or pre-prepared seafood sold by the food services sector be removed, subject to a transition period of no more than 12 months. Truth in labelling will help marketing and give confidence to the consumer about the product they buy and eat. A great result.

profile imagePaul Plafadellis
Submitted by Paul Plafadellis on Mon, 2015-03-02 09:54

Having spoken to some friends, I am aware of many people who want to be able to eat fish based on its health benefits. Almost all of them, however, are scared off by the prospect of cooking it and not knowing how to do it properly. Educating the public in how to handle fish in various forms (whole, h&g or fillets) will grant potential customers access to our products in the future, and should hopefully transform them into returned customers as the appeal of cooking healthy meals themselves will be an attractive and enjoyable prospect.