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Abstract

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate provides great promise as a market-based tool for sustainable fisheries but to succeed in the market a critical share of producers needs to participate in the program. Since consumers’ willingness to pay is a driver of producer participation, we conduct a consumer choice experiment to determine U.S. American consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay for MSC certification for canned tuna. We find that most U.S. American consumers are willing to pay for MSC-certified seafood. Also, results show that MSC certification might be especially advantageous for exporting producers from developing countries. Finally, our modeling allows us to determine complementary effects that MSC might have with other attributes. The results provide insights to stakeholders in the seafood industry on the effectiveness of MSC certification in championing sustainable fisheries. Recommendations based on willingness to pay for sustainable seafood labeled with MSC are provided.

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