News & Views
Opinion: What’s your story?
By Mari-Len De Guzman
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? This philosophical question, posited by Irish philosopher George Berkeley, has sparked interesting conversations, even impassioned arguments, in my family.
The proposition that reality exists only as a perception of the mind is a very interesting notion especially when thinking about influencing people’s perceptions. The ability to persuade or dissuade people toward a particular cause will depend on what information is presented to them and how. More importantly, how they perceive that information. I am far from a philosopher but this quote got me thinking about the amazing developments in various sectors of the aquaculture industry and whether these developments are being effectively shared, not just within the industry but in the mainstream realm.
At Hatchery International, we are always interested to hear about new developments in breeding aquatic species for aquaculture. Closing the loop in the production cycle for fish and other aquatic species that have the potential for market success is always a good story and addresses two huge challenges of the 21st century: environmental sustainability and global food supply shortage.
In September/October issue, we feature two up and coming stars in the seafood market: burbot and Murray cod. Both species have been through intensive R&D to create a viable and stable aquaculture process and reduce reliance on fisheries to bring these tasty fish to market.
We like to hear about and share these kinds of development through the pages of our publication. These good news stories will not only promote diversity in farmed aquatic species but also, in my opinion, help strengthen the aquaculture industry. Diversity will help propel the aquaculture industry forward and promote both environmental sustainability and economic stability.
The stories we tell at Hatchery International may sometimes become an exercise of preaching to the choir. Most readers of this publicatoin are already supporters of aquaculture. Spreading all these good news to a broader audience is a vital component of building resilience and stability for the aquaculture industry.
Public awareness and understanding can potentially lead to public support – given the right strategy and objectives. Sometimes it can seem the proponents of facts and evidence-based arguments are losing out to fearmongers and conspiracy theorists just because they have a louder voice and a more organized messaging (fact-based or not). If reality is a perception of the mind then those who can effectively influence these perceptions are at an advantage.
Some packaged, frozen fish at a grocery store would indicate either “wild” or farmed on their packaging. Which one do you think most consumers would opt for? Are they even aware of the difference or do they even care whether the fish they’re buying is farmed or wild? Analyst reports often indicate consumers are increasingly becoming aware of where their food comes from. To an uneducated consumer, however, the terms “farmed,” “wild,” “sustainably caught” or “sustainably farmed” do not necessarily resonate. The ability to educate the consumers about aquaculture and this industry’s sustainability efforts will ultimately decide what seafood brand product grocery shoppers will take home.
Aquaculture has a great story to tell so let’s make sure we are effectively sharing them, especially to those whose perceptions will likely influence their buying decisions.