Using the contingent behavior method, we estimate the benefits derived from the biomitigative effects of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) in the farming of Atlantic salmon. We asked a sample of Canadians how their farmed Atlantic salmon consumption choices would be affected by the availability of IMTA products in response to the decreased external costs they would impose on the surrounding marine environment. We used a random-effects negative binomial model to estimate their different demand functions and, from them, measures of increases in consumer surplus arising from the availability of IMTA products. We estimated a lower bound for the aggregate benefit that current salmon consumers in Canada would derive from the introduction of IMTA salmon of about CAD 280. million/year, while less restrictive assumptions about the representativeness of our sample would lead to an aggregate figure of about CAD 1.5. billion/year. We also found that consumers would benefit from proper labeling of farmed salmon, since conventionally farmed salmon and IMTA salmon are considered non-substitutes, the latter being a normal good and the former an inferior good for the typical consumer. We find that there is room for improving welfare by disseminating information to enhance consumer understanding of IMTA production techniques.
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