Using fish resources for food supply in a sustainable and efficient way requires an examination of the feasibility of prioritising the use of forage species. The present paper deals with the issue from the consumer perspective. Using Baltic herring as a case study, the role of sociodemographic determinants, the drivers and barriers of Baltic herring consumption are investigated in four Baltic Sea countries, based on an internet survey. The drivers and barriers of Baltic herring consumption are compared to those relating to Baltic salmon, to identify the main differences in consumer perceptions on species that are primarily used as feed and food. The present paper concludes that prioritising forage species primarily for human consumption calls for proactive catch use governance, which (1) acknowledges the species- and country-specific intricacies of forage fish consumption, (2) improves the availability of safe-to-eat fish on the market, and (3) provides consumers with sufficient information on the species (e.g., the type of herring and its origin), the sustainability of the fisheries, and the related health risks and benefits.
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