What They Did Back Then

* Master of Science in Aquaculture, completed 1994, University of Guelph

Advisors: Professor Richard D. Moccia and Professor Tom Funk

Investigation of Consumer Awareness of Arctic Charr and an Evaluation of the Potential for Marketing, Non-pigmented, farm raised Arctic Charr in Ontario.


Arctic charr, which is native to Arctic waters of Canada, has been introduced to the aquaculture industry in Ontario. This fish is like other salmonids ( e.g. trout and salmon) which have flesh colours varying from pale-yellow to fire-red in the wild. In an aquaculture setting, it is necessary to integrate pigments –carotenoids- to the fish feed in order to obtain a flesh colour like it’s wild counterpart. However, the cost of pigments can ass 15 percent or more to the price of feed. Also, colour inconsistencies between flesh of pigment created a quality assurance problem. This study explored the potential for marketing white flesh Arctic charr in Ontario. In other words, before eliminating the unnecessary and expensive pigments from the Arctic charr feed, it is necessary to ensure that there is a market for white flesh Arctic charr. As shown in the study Arctic charr is still not a very well known fish species in the Ontario market and thus consumer awareness of its natural flesh colour is very low. Therefore, the potential for marketing, non-pigmented, farm raised Arctic charr in Ontario does exist.

A descriptive survey with 512 personal interviews was conducted in order to investigate the awareness of Arctic charr and to evaluate the potential for marketing Arctic charr in Ontario. From the study, it is found that 22 percent of the fish eaters (whose fish consumption at home is once a month or higher) have never heard of Arctic charr, 39 percent have heard of the name only and 39 percent have eaten it. Within the respondents who have eaten Arctic charr, only 17 percent and 27 percent respectively know that wild Arctic charr has flesh colour of pink to red. It was concluded that the awareness of Arctic charr flesh colour is very low.