As a non-profit dedicated to ocean conservation for 50 years, Oceanic Society has come to realize that all ocean conservation problems share a common cause: human behavior. In short, people put too much in and take too much out of the seas. Our focus is on changing the human behaviors that damage ocean health so that the oceans can thrive.
Blue Habits, Episode 3: Trinidad is the third in Oceanic Society's five-part Blue Habits video series. Each episode explores a critical ocean conservation issue through the personal lens of a stakeholder as we visit one of Earth's most important ocean habitats. Through this video series, our goal is to motivate personal behavior changes that support healthy oceans and to build brand awareness and drive audience growth for Oceanic Society as part of our 50th Anniversary celebration.
Blue Habits, Episode 3: Trinidad shines the spotlight on the issue of seafood sustainability, arguably the most important issue impacting ocean health. The film tells the story of one place, Trinidad, through the lens of one person, an accomplished New York chef, and encourages viewers to make sustainable seafood choices. This is one of four key areas in which Oceanic Society aims to motivate behavior changes that lead to improved ocean health.
Within the context of our broader goals to motivate behavior changes, build brand awareness, and drive audience growth, for Blue Habits: Episode 3: Trinidad we sought to tell the complex story of sustainable seafood through a simple and compelling narrative that weaves together Oceanic Society's work as a nature travel leader and a convener for ocean conservation with its focus on building community and supporting personal engagement around ocean conservation. Rather than approaching this story through the typical non-profit "talking heads," scientists, or conservationists, we decided to invite a chef to star in the film by traveling to Trinidad to learn about one specific seafood issue (sea turtle bycatch) that we would explore through a more visceral and emotional narrative approach.
In Blue Habits, Episode 3: Trinidad we explore the issue of sustainable seafood through the lens of New York chef Trevor Kunk, who has worked in some of the top restaurant kitchens in the country. We hear what drives Trevor to care about sustainability, we explore the immense problem of sea turtle bycatch in Trinidad, and we discuss sustainable seafood solutions that support healthy sea turtle populations, healthy oceans, and healthy coastal communities for generations to come. Through Trevor's unique perspective as a top tier chef committed to sustainability, we dive in to the powerful role of seafood consumers, chefs, and restaurants in shaping the seafood industry and driving change that supports healthy oceans.
To maximize the video's potential impact on viewers' behavior, we incorporated science-based best practices from the behavioral sciences into our storytelling approach. These include the use of normative messaging, leveraging positive emotions, humanizing the message, framing messages around personal values, simplifying the message, and providing supporting information that facilitates the desired behavior. Moreover, by choosing a chef to star in the film, we aimed to lend a relatable voice to this issue, as well as to reach the restaurant and seafood industry with our message.
In combination with the video launch on social media, we launched a guide to sustainable seafood choices on our Blue Habits action portal at https://www.bluehabits.org/choose-sustainable-seafood and a supplementary guide on the Oceanic Society website at https://www.oceanicsociety.org/blog/2181/what-is-sustainable-seafood-and-how-do-i-choose-it-your-top-questions-answered. The guides include expert tips and resources for making sustainable seafood choices and aim to simplify the consumer actions tied to this complex issue. Like the video, they were also developed following science-based best practices for behavior change communications.
The film has been viewed 20,000 times and was shared 262 times on Facebook, notably including shares and comments from chefs, restaurants, and seafood purveyors in the United States, and fishing cooperatives and community organizations in Trinidad. Through the film, Oceanic Society was able to grow its brand exposure and effectively position itself as a voice and resource related to sustainable seafood and ocean conservation issues. We also used the film to drive social and email community growth through targeted ads and organic promotion and calls-to-action. The supplementary seafood guides have been viewed more than 1,100 times and continue to draw traffic.
The film has also been effective in engaging Oceanic Society's existing donors and community members and is being used as a template to develop future sponsored expeditions and storytelling campaigns related to ocean conservation. Finally, visual assets that were gathered during the film process are being used to support further social media engagement and marketing efforts for Oceanic Society.
The film has contributed to the dialogue about fisheries bycatch and sea turtle conservation in Trinidad both locally and among the global sea turtle conservation community, and we are hopeful that it will help spark further action to address this issue.