Explore Honolulu retail seafood pricing trends

By Justin Hospital

A new PIFSC report provides a summary of retail (consumer-level) fish price data collected from Honolulu seafood markets during 2007–2011. This represents one of the first efforts to explore consumer price trends in the State of Hawaii. A small sample of local seafood retailers were selected for participation in the monitoring program. These included owners, operators or representatives of local seafood outlets and both local and remotely-owned grocery stores and supermarkets. Retailers were visited on a weekly basis and posted price data were collected for fish species and product forms common in the marketplace. Observations regarding country of origin labeling practices were documented in conjunction with pricing.

The goal of this study was to advance a preliminary understanding of:

  • the prevalence of local species and product forms in Honolulu retail fish markets;
  • price differentials and value-added benefits across the seafood value chain;
  • consumer demand for various fish species;
  • the role of imports in the Hawaii seafood market

Data summaries in the report include:

  • retail market presence/absence estimates;
  • weekly retail price averages by species, product form and origin;
  • monthly time series for retail prices;
  • annual retail price spreads (difference between prices consumers pay and the price fishers receive)

These summaries are available for many species, families and product forms common in Hawaii markets including tuna, bottomfish, reef fish, and pelagic species (non-tuna).

An understanding of market composition, consumer demand for species and product forms, and the cultural importance of different species can be inferred from market presence-absence findings

Price differentials across the value chain shed light on consumer demand and value-added benefits attributed to consumer-level seafood products


The findings of this research have important implications for considering consumer-level effects of fisheries management as well as seafood security for Hawaii communities.

Retail price comparisons across species provide insights into the dynamics of market demand and consumer preferences

Aggregate price data at the retail and ex-vessel level can mask species-specific pricing dynamics which are important for monitoring considerations

Results from this project are available in a variety of formats:

  • Explore the data collected and summarized in the report through an online interactive visualization tool
  • Click to download a fact sheet
  • The full report is available for download here

For more information about this research or other research from the PIFSC Socioeconomics Program visit our website or browse recent blog posts.

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