Why Australians Do Not Eat Fish Regularly

Why Australians Do Not Eat Fish Regularly


Over years the Australians have relied on foreign varieties of fish instead of the home harvested ones. This culture has contributed to low fish consumption among the Australians. There is a need to influence Australians to increase their fish consumption level. Understanding the reasons behind the low fish consumption among the Australians will help the government as well as fish farmers and producers to come up with appropriate techniques that will make sure the expectations of the fish consumers are met (1). Besides, it will assist the government to lay strategies that will capture the interest of the Australians to consume the local fish. The research findings indicate that majority of the Australians are relying on the frozen fishes from oversea countries at the expense of the local varieties (2). The lack of desire to consume locally harvested fish may have been the major reason why there is low fish consumption level in the country. Having an extensive knowledge about the low fish consumption will help fish marketers and other stakeholders in the fishing industry to design the right education that will push the general public to embrace the culture of fish eating. This will increase both local and imported fish consumption. Besides, it will contributed to the improved health among the citizens because of the healthy nutrients associated with the fish products.There are critical reasons why the Australians do not like eating fish. First, majority of the Australians refer the local sea food as the poor man’s fish. There are around fifteen local varieties of fish in Australia but the citizens appear to lack their preference. According to (3) many shops in Australia do not sell the local varieties of fish because it is very difficult for the locals to purchase them. Secondly, the low fish consumption in the country can be attributed to the lack of fish eating associable benefits among the Australian people. With proper education many of the Australians will be pushed to increase their level of fish consumption (4 ). For example, it is important to educate the households on how to different varieties of fish. This will make it easy for the Australians to embrace the fishing eating culture irrespective if they have been produced locally or they have been imported. Third, (3) observed that 80 percent of the Australians were not eating fish. This means that eight of ten of the Australians do not take fish as a preference. The author goes further to argue that this may attributable to the lack of knowledge on the benefits associated with fish products (3). For example, many Australians are not aware that it is highly recommended to eat a significant amount of fish to retain their daily Omeag-3 needs. Therefore, there is a need for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHNRC) to create awareness to the Australians on the amount of fish they should eat per day. Finally, the research also elaborated that price and convenience were the key drivers behind the consumption of fish in the country.

The theory of the planned appears to suit appropriately in the Australian fish consumption context. Ideally, the Theory of the Planned Behavior is a model relied upon to predict and establish an individual intention to engage in a certain behavior in t specific time and place (5). This model has proved to be effective in different areas such as predicting behavior in substance use, breastfeeding, health services utilization, drinking and smoking. The Theory of the Planned Behavior states to achieve a particular behavior it depends intention (motivation) and behavioral control (ability) (LaMorte). Based on the Australians low fish eating behavior the six constructs of the Theory of the Planned Behavior can be suitably related to the phenomenon. This paper explores how the Australians fish eating culture conforms to the elements of the Theory of the Planned Behavior in the discussion below;

  • Attitude: Refers to the measure that an individual has a desirable or undesirable assessment of the behavior on interest. In the Australian context, people prefer eating fish supplements instead of fish themselves. Besides, the Australians have the perception the locally produced fish is the poor man’s seafood (2).
  • Behavioral intention: Refers to the motivational factors that drive a certain behavior. There are no strong motivational factors among the fish farmers and producers and marketers that can encourage the Australians to consume fish in large quantities.
  • Subjective norms: These are peer influenced behaviors. People tend to adapt to certain behavior based on whether on whether his or her peers think he or she should engage in the behavior. Many of the Australian people believe in consuming the imported fish because majority of the important people as well peers are doing so.
  • Social norms: These are the customary codes governing how people behave. Australian low fish consumption can be tied to the perception that the locally produced fish is a poor man’s food. As the result the many of the Australians who cannot afford the imported fish tend to have their meals without fish.
  • Perceived power: There is no perceived power in the Australian context that can influence people to eat fish in large quantities. However, the little perceived power in the imported fish has been gradually increasing the number of people eating fish in the county.
  • Perceived behavior control: Refers to an individual perception of difficulty or ease in performing his or her behavior interest. There are Australians that would like to consume fish regularly but seems discouraged by the perception that local fish varieties are only meant for the poor in the country (2).

It is important to understand why it is fundamental to carry out a research to determine the drivers and barriers behind low fish consumption among the Australia citizens. This research aims to explore the reasons as well the potential barriers behind the low fish consumption among the Australians. The research will also seek to determine influencing factors behind those who embrace the culture of fish eating in the country.Method

The data and information to be used in this research was obtained through the interview whereby the respondents were required to fill a questionnaire. The researcher focused on ten respondents as the sample of the population. The respondents were selected randomly and subjected to the research through filling a questionnaire. The questions of the questionnaire were well designed to suit the objectives and the aim of the research.

The recruitment of the participants to undertake the study was based on aspects such as humane, simplicity, supportive, patience and persistence. The humane aspect was applied by convincing my fellow students to work me to facilitate the success of the research. Secondly, the participants were recruited to remain simple in order to enable friendly association with the respondents of the study. Thirdly, the participants were recruited on how to solicit support from other who may be interested in the study.

The questionnaire that was used in the research has been illustrated below;

  • What is your attitude towards consumption of fish? Do you think other Australians have the same perception as you?
  • What are some of the behavioral factors that contribute to the low fish consumption level among the Australians?
  • Do your peers influence your fish eating level? Do you influence the fish habit among your peers?
  • What are some of the norms and believes that determine the habit of fish eating among the Australian people?
  • Is there perceived power in the Australian context that can influence of the fish eating culture of the people?
  • Are there cultures, behavior or beliefs that control the amount of fish consumed by the Australians per day?


TPB Based Questions Feedback Number of Respondents
Attitude towards consumption Local fish is the poor man’s fish.

Majority of the Australians have the same perception.

Behavioral factors No identifiable behavioral factors that influence fish consumption among the Australians. 8
Peers influence Peer influence play a major role in determining the variety of fish people consume 7
Norms and beliefs Australians belief that local fish is a poor man’s food. 8
Perceived power influence The perception that imported fish are of high quality influences people to consume fish 4
Perceived behavior control. Fish consumption level is determined by the perception of the people towards local varieties. 5


Ten students were subjected to the study. This comprised of both male and female students. The results of the study found that price and convenience were some of the key drivers. In the literature review the paper has found that majority of the Australians prefer eating the imported fish. This is stimulated by the desire to have high quality fish. However, the high price charged on the imported fish deter many of the Australian from purchasing fish (6). Secondly, the research found that the imported fish can only be found in the supermarkets (7). People who lack convenience to supermarkets finds it difficult to purchase fish regularly. This is because they prefer imported fish than fish from the fishmongers that can be found in the retail shops.

The students used in the study were asked about their fish purchasing habits based on planned and impulse buying. Eight of ten respondents revealed that their fish buying was more impulse than planned. This was an indication that Australians do not consider fish as part of their meal and they will only purchase fish when they come across with them either in the supermarket or in the retail shops. It was also an indication that they do not include fish on their shopping list.  The perception of the local fish varieties are meant for the poor in the country was also a major potential barrier on the habit of eating fish in Australia (8). This attitude discourages Australians who may be willing to purchase local fish regularly but fear that they will be categorized in the class of the poor people. As the result people will tend to go for the imported fish that are a bit expensive for the majority of the Australians to purchase. This contributes to the low fishing consumption level in the country. Two respondents in the study revealed that they would like to consume fish frequently but they are unable to purchase the imported ones but have the ability to buy the local fish. However, they ability is eroded by the lack of willingness because they do not want to be seen as poor.

Lack of the education on the benefits associated with eating fishing has been another reason for low fish consumption in the country (9). Most of respondents engaged in the study said that based on their observations majority of the Australian people lacked extensive knowledge on the healthy benefits of eating fish on regular basis. Those who appreciated the importance of eating a lot fish, preferred to eat fish supplements to the local fish varieties. The failure to meet the daily vitamins obtained from the fish calls for the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHNRC) intervention to educate people on the importance of eating fish regularly. The respondents in the study admitted that they had the knowledge about the importance of eating fish frequently but their consumption level was controlled by the norms and attitudes towards the local fish varieties. Different fish cooking methods were also found to influence fishing eating level in the country (10). The review of the past studies has clearly show that Australians do know how to cook different varieties of fish. This prevents them from purchasing types of fish that they do not know how they should be cooked. This was supported by the respondents who were engaged in the study who attested that they will only purchase the variety of fish that they know how to cook. On the other side, the Australians who eat fish in large quantities are largely influenced by their peers who prefer imported fish varieties.Conclusion

Fish influence of fish eating in Australian can be attributed to the number of reasons. First, price and convenience play a major role on the number of fish that people will eat on daily basis. Australians prefer imported fishes to the local varieties. The price of the imported fish is usually high than that provided by the fish mongers. Because of the high price many of the Australians will opt for fish supplements. Secondly, the imported fish can only be found in the supermarkets and large malls in the cities. This makes it difficult for majority of the people to have access to them. Lack of education on the importance of eating fishing is also another major concern influencing the fish eating habit in the country. The perception that the local varieties are of the poor quality also hinder the quantities of fish consumed in the country. Finally, the lack of proper cooking methods for different varieties of fish prevents people to make planned fish buying. Based on the reasons for the low fish eating culture in Australis this paper recommends that people should be educated on the importance of eating a lot fish regularly. Besides, fish cooking competitions should be started to educate people on how to cook different varieties of fish. This should be accompanied by creating awareness on highlighting the importance of eating the local fish varieties that appear fresher than the imported ones.

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