Factors affecting the pro-environmental behavior of aquaculture farmers in Guilan Province

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Razi, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of Educational Science and Psychology, Faculty of Persian Language and Literature, Islamic Azad University of Chalous, Chalous, Iran


Aquaculture is an agricultural activity that can play an important role in supplying the nutritional needs and health of the world's population. Yet, this industry in the Guilan Province has widespread environmental problems that lead to instability such as the excessive use of hormones, antibiotics, and unhealthy fertilizers, releasing fish farms waste, and the lack of health certificate of farms. So, there are questions like how can aquaculture farmers be encouraged to act appropriately towards the environment? Which factors are effective in encouraging aquaculture farmers to have pro-environmental behaviors? So, using the planned behavior theory and technology acceptance model of Davis, the theoretical framework of this research was presented to investigate the factors affecting the pro-environmental behavior of aquaculture farmers in Guilan Province.
Material and methods:
The statistical population of the study consisted of two groups: hydrothermal fish farmers (5830 people), and cold water fish farmers (200 people). Overall, From 353 and 12 individuals from hydrothermal and cold water fish farmers, respectively, were selected as samples using the stratified random sampling method. To collect the required information, a researcher-made questionnaire was developed in nine sections. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed through a panel of experts and its reliability was confirmed by Cronbach's alpha (0.73≤ α ≤ 0.89). Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were used to determine the structural validity and fitting of the designed model.
Results and discussion:
The results showed that the variables used in the research were good models for the occurrence of pro-environmental behavior in aquaculture farmers of the Guilan Province. Individual factors had a positive relationship with the perceived usefulness and easy understanding of the application. Also, social factors had a positive relationship with the perceived usefulness, but it had a negative and inverse relationship with an easy understanding of the application. Perceived usefulness and the easy understanding of the application to the attitude toward that behavior had a positive relationship. Also, perceived usefulness with more beta coefficients had a more effective relationship with attitude toward one's behavior. Attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control were effective on behavioral intention and behavior. The attitude variable had the most positive relationship with behavioral intention. Perceived usefulness had a positive and meaningful relationship with behavioral intention. Behavioral intention, with a beta coefficient of 0.78, had a positive relationship with the pro-environmental behavior of aquaculture farmers in the province, and this factor, with perceived behavioral control, explained 84% of behavioral changes.
Our findings showed that if one considers the pro-environmental behavior useful and also finds it easy and understandable, it will improve their attitude toward the environment. In total, revising the courses and the content presented therein, and also the appropriate and desirable way of presenting them should be considered by the extensional authorities of the province's fisheries. Facilities and technical supports can create a sense of independence and freedom of action in aquaculture farmers for having pro-environmental behaviors.


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