Public knowledge, perception and attitudes towards the world's coral reefs

Sergeant, Christopher (2009) Public knowledge, perception and attitudes towards the world's coral reefs. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Coral reefs are one of the worlds most fragile and endangered ecosystems and have been referred to as the “rainforests of the sea”. Anthropogenic pressures and natural threats continue to reduce coral cover worldwide, and whilst work towards coral conservation continues, public participation and awareness is key to the success of any such scheme. The focus of this project is to use research conducted at four English aquariums via semi-structured interviews to assess public knowledge, perception and attitudes towards coral reefs. The results of this research are intended to provide guidance on appropriate methods of informing the general public of the issues faced by coral reefs and engender support for sustainable use and conservation. The results show that although the English population possess’ a superficial level of knowledge about coral reefs, there is a recognition that the condition of coral reefs is deteriorating as a result of anthropogenic and other factors. Understanding of the overall situation and the range of influences pertaining to reef degradation however is limited. Despite supporting the notion that corals are in danger, the public displays less enthusiasm in contributing personal time or money to help reverse this trend. By re-directing effort into educating and informing the public about coral reefs, the benefits they provide and the threats affecting them, engagement levels would improve and thus the chance of success for potential restoration efforts.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 24 Jul 2015 10:25

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