Fishing for Supporters

This week, I was finally able to begin handing out some seafood guides around the aquarium. Due to the standard format of most speaker led shows, changing the script of a presentation to fit with my project was unfortunately not an option. Nervous that I would not have enough data to complete my research project, my supervisor and I decided to have me set up a table somewhere in the aquarium to hand out seafood guides.

To bring some interest to the table, I created three fake menus, one with appetizers, one with entrée options, and one with just sushi. Each menu contains two items that are Seafood Watch Best Choice recommendations, two are Good Alternative options and two are options to Avoid. Additionally, I have printed the infographic and menu insert that I created, and I have been borrowing a couple sustainable seafood cookbooks from the gift shop to fill out the table. The first day, I was located in the main lobby for two hours, but It must have looked more like an information table than anything else. Many people came up to ask me questions, but seldom did they ever have to do with sustainable seafood, instead I was asked countless times where the Splash Pad and Dolphin Cruise were located.

For day two, we decided to add chalkboard sign to the table that says, “What’s your sustainable seafood IQ?” Instead of setting up in the main lobby downstairs, I set up my table in a fairly empty area between galleries on the second floor. With the sign adding some interest to the table, several people stopped to speak with me about sustainable seafood. Each time when they stopped, I would ask, “Have you heard of sustainable seafood?” Some of the people had heard of the subject, and had a vague idea of what it actually meant, so I attempted to add to what they knew and offered both a sushi guide and South East seafood guide to each person, and told them about Seafood Watch’s smartphone app.

I will continue to distribute seafood guides to aquarium visitors over the next two days. Each day I will have a different sign to see if the message affects audience interest in the table, and I will possibly move around to different spots in the aquarium, but I don’t really want to be in anyone’s way, so I may stick to the empty area I found today.

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