Aquaculture International

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 177–195 | Cite as

Aquaculture in the German print media

  • Yvonne Feucht
  • Katrin Zander


The current aquaculture methods are criticized by the public for potentially causing ecological problems and health risks for consumers. An unfavorable public perception may lead to a decline in consumption. Also the production might be affected negatively since legislation and as such approval procedures are influenced by public perception. The aquaculture industry has to consider public reactions to their production practices in order to prosper further. One way to learn about and to understand public perception is the analysis of media coverage since media are an important source of information for the public. Thus, the media coverage of an issue reveals potential points of conflict between the aquaculture sector and the public. We aimed to identify which attitude the media adopted toward aquaculture as a news issue and to determine which aspects of aquaculture were highlighted and how they were discussed. The study also focused on the presentation of recirculating systems and of organic aquaculture. Using this approach, we analyzed the media coverage of aquaculture in the most widely read German newspapers in the time period from 2008 to 2013. A mixture of qualitative and quantitative content analysis was used to examine the coverage in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the BILD. Our results indicate that the analyzed media primarily reported on aquaculture in a positive to neutral tone. Economic benefits of aquaculture dominated the coverage, whereas potential negative aspects of aquaculture received less attention. Organic fish farming and closed recirculating systems were both presented as eco-friendly practices. The German aquaculture sector was described as being sustainable and practicing good management.


Agenda-setting Aquaculture Communication Closed recirculating systems Farmed fish Media analysis Newspaper Organic aquaculture Public media 



Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


Süddeutsche Zeitung


Recirculating aquaculture systems



We thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thünen-Institute of Market AnalysisBrunswickGermany

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