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Public perceptions of sharks: Gathering support for shark conservation

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  • Friedrich, Laura A.
  • Jefferson, Rebecca
  • Glegg, Gillian

Abstract

With increasing evidence of the destructive impacts of human activities on the ocean there is a growing call for stronger public engagement in marine governance. An understanding of marine issues and pro-environmental values are key elements that influence an individual׳s engagement in conservation and pro-environmental behaviour. This paper presents a study on public perceptions of sharks and shark conservation in the UK. The study investigated knowledge of and attitudes towards sharks of a group of individuals with a clear interest in the marine environment, as well as possible factors that might influence their perceptions of sharks, in order to make recommendations on how to foster engagement in shark conservation. The key finding was that important prerequisites for engagement in shark conservation exist among parts of the UK public. However, this does not seem to be enough to motivate actual engagement. The study discusses a number of specific challenges with regard to sharks which might be influencing the way in which society connects to shark related issues. It concludes with priority recommendations for further investigation into potential catalysts for public engagement in shark conservation.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedrich, Laura A. & Jefferson, Rebecca & Glegg, Gillian, 2014. "Public perceptions of sharks: Gathering support for shark conservation," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-7.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:47:y:2014:i:c:p:1-7
    DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.02.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Techera, Erika J. & Klein, Natalie, 2011. "Fragmented governance: Reconciling legal strategies for shark conservation and management," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 73-78, January.
    2. Worm, Boris & Davis, Brendal & Kettemer, Lisa & Ward-Paige, Christine A. & Chapman, Demian & Heithaus, Michael R. & Kessel, Steven T. & Gruber, Samuel H., 2013. "Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding options for sharks," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 194-204.
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    5. Herndon, Andrew & Gallucci, Vincent F. & DeMaster, Douglas & Burke, William, 2010. "The case for an international commission for the conservation and management of sharks (ICCMS)," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1239-1248, November.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Garla, Ricardo C. & Freitas, Renato H.A. & Calado, Janaina F. & Paterno, Gustavo B.C. & Carvalho, Adriana R., 2015. "Public awareness of the economic potential and threats to sharks of a tropical oceanic archipelago in the western South Atlantic," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 128-133.
    3. Zanoli, Raffaele & Carlesi, Lorenzo & Danovaro, Roberto & Mandolesi, Serena & Naspetti, Simona, 2015. "Valuing unfamiliar Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems using visual Q-methodology," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 227-236.
    4. O’Bryhim, Jason R. & Parsons, E.C.M., 2015. "Increased knowledge about sharks increases public concern about their conservation," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 43-47.
    5. Gibbs, Leah & Warren, Andrew, 2015. "Transforming shark hazard policy: Learning from ocean-users and shark encounter in Western Australia," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 116-124.
    6. McCagh, Christine & Sneddon, Joanne & Blache, Dominque, 2015. "Killing sharks: The media’s role in public and political response to fatal human–shark interactions," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 271-278.

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