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Increased knowledge about sharks increases public concern about their conservation

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... Examples include thriller films, such as 'Jaws' and 'The Shallows' as well as documentaries such as Discovery Channel's 'Shark Week' with titles including 'The Spawn of El Diablo', 'The Real Sharknado', and 'I Was Prey: Terrors of the Deep 2'. These types of shark representations only perpetuate the fear of sharks, trivializing their values in terms of, biodiversity, ecological importance, and their critical conservation status (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015). This is further exacerbated when media outlets disproportionately report on negative shark encounters, with very few news stories detailing positive encounters, for example through dive eco-tourism. ...
... Ιn recent years, public perception of sharks has changed positively, with increased public concern for the conservation of sharks Le Busque et al., 2021;Giovos et al., 2021). This shift of attitude may be linked to increased public knowledge about sharks (Friedrich et al., 2014;O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015), possibly through social media, documentaries, and ecotourism. Nature-related activities and experiences like fishing, diving, ocean education, and literacy can significantly positively change people's perception towards environmental conservation and lead to pro-environmental behaviours as described by Skubel et al., 2019. ...
... By managing these drivers, conservationists can ensure the successful implementation of environmental awareness campaigns (Mosler & Martens, 2008). Identification of specific knowledge gaps among different demographic groups will help to understand where knowledge deficits occur and identify where particular communities would benefit from further education (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015). Particularly relevant are those in coastal communities where the likelihood of shark interactions or activities reliant on sharks is more common Lucrezi et al., 2019;Giovos et al., 2021). ...
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The tendency of world media to villainize of sharks has likely contributed to a disparity in the distribution of research and conservation resources among threatened marine megavertebrates, with elasmobranchs losing out. Increased public knowledge on elasmobranchs can shape public attitude and foster and gain support for elasmobranch conservation. Through an online survey, this study aimed to evaluate the drivers of public knowledge and examine linkages between awareness of elasmobranchs and attitude toward their conservation. To explore the relationships and effects between the different predicting variables and public elasmobranch knowledge and attitude indices, bi-and multi-variate analysis and a partial least squares path model were used. The results indicated that the average public elasmobranch knowledge of the Cypriot population was moderate and the average public attitude towards elasmobranchs was relatively low. Marine-related activities and marine-related education were highly correlated with increased public elasmobranch knowledge and were the strongest predictors of the partial least squares path model which explained a high degree of variation in elasmobranch knowledge. Public elasmobranch knowledge was highly correlated with public attitude towards elasmobranchs. The findings of this study highlighted the importance of ocean literacy and education and provide insights into the mechanisms for developing and designing successful advocacy actions for elasmobranch conservation.
... Recently, several researchers put effort into understanding the attitudes of different factors involved, directly or indirectly, in shark protection and shark fisheries for advancing their conservation (e.g. [8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]. Among other impacts, public opinion plays a significant role in shaping environmental policies [23] and is a key factor for achieving environmental "gains" [24]. ...
... Interestingly, this perception of sharks is gradually changing [31]. Surveys through questionnaires evidenced the rise of a positive shift, despite the fear still elicited by them (Australia: [8]; Brazil: [13]; Ecuador: [21]; Mozambique: [32]; UK: [10]; USA: [16]). This change in perception is also associated with a change in the use, from extractive to non-extractive, linked to the increase of interest in ecotourism and direct contact with these animals [31]. ...
... In particular, a very strong agreement (more than 90% of the respondents) was linked to the ecologistic statements ("Sharks are important for the functioning of the marine ecosystems" and "It is necessary to protect sharks as part of biodiversity for next generations"). This generally positive attitudes supported by other relevant studies (e.g., Australia: [8]; Brazil: [13]; Ecuador: [21]; South Africa: [32]; UK: [10]; USA: [16]) and highlight the shift in the public perception about these species [10,13,31]. On the other hand, some fear is still associated with these animals, as shown by the high agreement with the negativistic statements 4 and 8 ("It is necessary to adopt safety policy against shark attacks" and "I wouldn't approach a shark in the wild because I am scared") This is following recent studies conducted in Peru [40] and Ecuador [21] and have been investigated in beach users in areas with shark attacks [9,22,32,41,42]. ...
Article
Sharks are among the oldest residents of the planet, they possess a unique value as top predators and constitute irreplaceable elements of marine ecosystems. Unfortunately, contemporary narratives widely presented in popular mainstream media have attached an utterly negative connotation to sharks, propagating an unsubstantiated and fabricated image of them as implacable and voracious predators. Recently a lot of attention is devoted to understanding the public perception towards sharks in order to promote their conservation given that a quarter of all shark species are facing extinction. This work assessed the current attitude of the public towards sharks on a global scale, utilizing modern technology through a single protocol that explored the importance of factors like culture, history, or educational level in shaping attitudes. We collected 13,800 questionnaires from 137 countries, with 25 countries presenting more than 100 answers each, representing in total 92% of the filled questionnaires. A generally positive attitude towards sharks emerged from our study, influenced significantly by several factors including knowledge and participation in marine conservation projects. Interestingly, shark attacks emerged as an important factor, with countries having high numbers of shark attacks exhibiting a highly positive attitude towards sharks, potentially because their citizens are more aware of the issue and the importance of sharks for the marine ecosystems. Guidelines for shifting public attitude towards sharks and consequently advancing shark conservation were also drawn.
... Movies and articles have focussed on negative, fear and intent-based frames, thus creating a culture of public fear of and misbelief concerning sharks [2,19,37]. Some news reports have divulgated either incorrect or false information on sharks [37][38][39]. Narratives used by the media have placed emphasis on the threat that sharks pose to humans, and neglected human threats to sharks [19,37]. Finally, the media have been sensationalising and melodramatising stories revolving around human-shark interactions, indirectly affecting both public views and government decisions to act in favour of lethal shark control [1,4,19]. ...
... Scientists and members of the public have been urging the media to interrupt the use of improper narratives that would misinform the public, cause misunderstanding, and have irreversible impacts on sharks [13,21,33,39]. For example, Neff and Hueter [3] concluded that using the phrase "shark attack" in the media is unacceptable for two reasons. ...
... Muter et al. [19] observed an increase in the number of stories covered by the Australian and USA media focussing on the positive effects of sharks, and also stories narrated by shark bite victims who advocate for shark conservation. In a US study, O'Bryhim and Parsons [39] found that the annual week-long US television programme "Shark Week" has improved public knowledge of sharks and positive attitudes towards shark conservation. ...
Article
Sharks have historically suffered from a negative image, which has been indirectly fuelling public fear and government decisions to kill sharks, as part of bather protection programmes in various countries. Scientists are arguing, however, that the public opinion of sharks is increasingly positive, and that opposition to lethal shark control and to negative shark framing is growing. Positive attitudes and behaviour towards sharks tend to be influenced by an array of factors, which ought to be considered in studies aimed at effectively steering shark conservation actions. This study used a questionnaire survey of 1138 beach visitors in South Africa, together with structural equation modelling, to investigate human perceptions of sharks, and their influence on outcome variables including attitudes and behaviour towards shark hazard mitigation and shark framing. The results show that basic knowledge and attitudes towards sharks have a significant effect on the outcome variables. Additionally, attitudes towards sharks moderate the effect of perceived risk from sharks on the outcome variables. The results support arguments of public concern for sharks, and provide guidance for strategies aimed at garnering more support for shark conservation.
... Animations, on the other hand, like "Jabberjaw" (Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, 1976) Some studies have demonstrated a significant media influence on people's perceptions and views on nature (Andrelo and Almeida 2015;Bousé 1998), and some have even reported more specific data (Francis 2012;Friedrich et al. 2014;Neff 2014), for example, analyzing the influence of the film "Jaws" on public perceptions and its consequences on shark conservation. Other assessments (Lucrezi et al. 2018;O'Bryhim and Parsons 2015) have discussed more general popular shark perceptions and possible impacts on their conservation. However, a knowledge gap regarding the influence of media vehicles other than films, such as documentaries and news pieces, among others, is noted concerning general public shark perceptions and their impacts on conservation. ...
... This study was carried out focusing on the population living in the city of Rio de Janeiro, a coastal city in southeastern Brazil. A structured questionnaire based on models applied by other authors (Liberal et al. 2006;Lucrezi et al. 2018;O'Bryhim and Parsons 2015) was used for data collection, in order to obtain information about possible media influences on public shark perceptions and to verify whether this percep-tion can lead to impacts concerning the conservation of these animals. The questionnaire was sent via the Internet, through the "Google Forms" application system, and then released on the WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram social networks. ...
... Regarding shark information sources, our results corroborate other literature assessments (Liberal et al. 2006;O'Bryhim and Parsons 2015), with documentaries and news indicated as the most efficient means of dissemination. Social networks, however, have emerged as the second most important information medium. ...
Article
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Sharks, due to some of their characteristics such as prominent teeth and size, cause fear in many people. This feeling can be evidenced due to encounters with these animals or sustained by media information. Currently, negative information on these animals, present in movies and the news, for example, has contributed to a worldwide feeling of "fear" or "anger" towards sharks in the general public. On the other hand, efforts to better understand these animals have increased. In addition to films and documentaries, many scientific and environmental education groups have attempted to improve or alleviate, public perception concerning this significant fear and promote shark conservation. In this context, we analyzed the perceptions of 354 people living in Rio de Janeiro, a coastal city in southeastern Brazil, by applying a structured online questionnaire about sharks. The findings reported herein indicate direct media influence on respondent perceptions, according to the "good" or "bad" image that media vehicles pass on concerning these animals, and that, despite an established fear of sharks, public support for their conservation is maintained. The factor analysis indicated a relationship between older people and more fear, and less fear among people aged 20-40 years. We believe that the lesser fear in the latter is related to the influence of the current media in this age group, such as documentaries and social networks, while older respondents lived in a period with less environmental information and became more susceptible to shark negative films and media, in which the fear persists today.
... This could provide important insights to increase the effectiveness of fundraising campaigns. Several studies have already examined WTD to various environmental and biodiversity conservation measures (e.g., Martín-López et al., 2007;Veríssimo et al., 2009;Wang and Jia, 2012;Kamri, 2013;Batel et al., 2014;Adamu et al., 2015;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015;Lundberg et al., 2019). In contrast, only a few studies have examined the actual donation behavior (Srnka et al., 2003;Leliveld and Risselada, 2017). ...
... Sociodemographic characteristics also appear to be important in the present context (e.g., Srnka et al., 2003;Wang and Jia, 2012;Kamri, 2013;Adamu et al., 2015;Leliveld and Risselada, 2017). Additionally, people's knowledge is often suggested to play a role (Turpie, 2003;Batel et al., 2014;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015). Furthermore, attitudes seem to particularly influence the formation of behavioral intentions (Armitage and Christian, 2003;Clayton and Myers, 2009;Ajzen, 2011;Pronello and Gaborieau, 2018) and thereby also the motivation to conserve insects (Cornelisse and Sagasta, 2018). ...
... Knowledge about biodiversity or climate change is often suggested as an important predictor of environmentally friendly behavior by conservationists (Frick et al., 2004). Some studies indeed suggest a positive impact of knowledge on the WTD to the conservation of endangered animal species (Turpie, 2003;Batel et al., 2014;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015). However, Onel and Mukherjee (2016) could not find any direct influence of knowledge of ecological facts on the WTD to environmental conservation and factual knowledge generally does not appear to influence environmental behavior (Frick et al., 2004). ...
Article
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It is essential to engage the public in conservation measures to conserve insects. We investigate the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), as well as knowledge, attitudes, and sociodemographic variables (gender, age, education level, and income) as predictors of willingness to donate (WTD) and actual donations to insect conservation for a representative German sample (N = 515; MAge = 49.36, SD = 16.73; female = 50.1%). The PMT subcomponents severity, self-efficacy, and response efficacy, as well as attitudes toward insects, income, and education level, significantly predicted WTD. In contrast, severity, response barriers, age, gender, and the WTD significantly influenced actual donations. Overall, components of the PMT have high predictive power for both dependent variables. Our results suggest that an intention-behavior gap exists between the intention to donate and the actual donation toward insect conservation. Measures to increase WTD and actual donations for insect conservation are discussed.
... The following reference appears in the Supplemental Information: Ali and Sinan, 2014;Bä ckstrand, 2003;Baum and Blanchard, 2010;Clarke et al., , 2013Davidson et al., 2016;Dent and Clarke, 2015;Dulvy et al., 2008;Fong and Anderson, 2002;Gelsleichter and Walker, 2010;Jacques, 2010;Manire and Gruber, 1990;Myers et al., 2007;Neff, 2015;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015;Roff et al., 2016;Ruppert et al., 2013;Shiffman et al., 2014;Shiffman and Hammerschlag, 2014;Worm et al., 2013;Adams, 2006. Please cite this article in press as: ...
... It has long been proposed that negative public perception of sharks can contribute to shark conservation issues (i.e., that people who are afraid of sharks are less likely to want to protect them, see Jacques 2010). This is often attributed directly to the film "Jaws" (Neff 2015) as well as inflammatory and false content on Shark Week (Myrick et al. 2014, O'Bryhim andParsons 2015) and in popular press coverage (Neff and Hueter 2014). As noted in section 1.2, media coverage has the potential to shape public perception on environmental issues, and negative, inflammatory coverage may make the public less likely to support certain conservation measures (Houston et al. 2010). ...
Article
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Sharks are a taxon of significant conservation concern and associated public interest. The scientific community largely supports management policies focusing on sustainable fisheries exploitation of sharks, but many concerned members of the public and some environmental advocates believe that sustainable shark fisheries cannot and do not exist and therefore support total bans on all shark fisheries and/or trade in shark products. The belief that sustainable shark fisheries cannot and do not exist persists despite scientific evidence showing that they can and do, and are important to livelihoods. Additionally, many concerned members of the public are only aware of one threat to sharks and are unaware of other threats—or of most available policy solutions. Here we assess whether the popular press plays a role in spreading misinformation and misunderstanding about these issues via the agenda-setting, priming, and cultivation roles of the media, with the goal of better understanding the causes and consequences of public confusion.
... In turn, public perceptions and awareness toward shark conservation could be partially modulated by how much people are acquainted with these species. Previous research revealed that people with greater levels of knowledge about marine predators such as sharks or dolphins were more likely to adopt ecologically responsible behaviors and advocate for their conservation (Thompson and Mintzes, 2002;Barney et al., 2005;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015;Tsoi et al., 2016). Unfavorable public perceptions and insufficient knowledge about sharks might thus present a barrier to the development of shark conservation policies and contribute to the collapse of their populations. ...
... A most relevant relationship between education level, knowledge about and perceptions toward sharks was evidenced in this study, with increased education and knowledge generally benefiting more positive perceptions. Previous research also associated higher education level with greater knowledge about sharks and more positive perceptions and attitudes toward these species (Thompson and Mintzes, 2002;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015;Tsoi et al., 2016;Lama et al., 2018). Misperceptions may derive from a lack of acquaintance with and understanding about sharks, rendering people susceptible to misinformation (Muter et al., 2012;Myrick and Evans, 2014). ...
Article
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Identifying sources of variability in public perceptions and attitudes toward sharks can assist managers and conservationists with developing effective strategies to raise awareness and support for the conservation of threatened shark species. This study examined the effect of several demographic, economic and socioenvironmental factors on the quality of knowledge about and perceptions toward sharks in two contrasting scenarios from northeastern Brazil: a shark hazardous coastal region and a marine protected insular area. Ordered logistic regression models were built using Likert data collected with a self-administered questionnaire survey (N = 1094). A clear relationship between education, knowledge and perceptions was found, with low education level and knowledge of sharks resulting in more negative perceptions toward these species. Prejudice toward sharks stemmed as a potentially limiting factor because the positive effects of other variables such as affinity for nature and specific knowledge about sharks were superseded by the effects of negative prejudice. Other practical factors such as age, economic level, and gender, also influenced respondent’s knowledge and perceptions and could provide a guidance for optimizing socioenvironmental gains relative to public engagement efforts. Results also suggested that populations inhabiting regions with high shark bite incidence likely require distinct outreach methods because some factors underlying knowledge and perception dynamics exhibited structural differences in their effects when compared to the trends observed in a marine protected area. Altogether, public perceptions and attitudes toward sharks could be feasibly enhanced with educational development and nature experiencing strategies. Moreover, disseminating shark-specific knowledge across the society might catalyze support for the conservation of these species in a cost-effective way. This study provides a potentially useful socioenvironmental framework to deal with the human dimensions of shark management and to strengthen conservation policies aimed at promoting societal compliance with pro-environmental values, which is crucial to endow shark populations with effective protection from anthropogenic threats.
... Policy development cannot be formulated within a vacuum, and it is therefore important to note that public perceptions can underwrite the policy and decision-making processes [17]. Debatably, the main concern relating to human-shark interaction is unfortunately that it still emphasizes the risk posed to humans as opposed to the risks that humans pose to sharks [18,19]. ...
... Although solutions for many shark-associated conservation issues currently exist, part of the management adeptness certainly lies in propagating feasible and science/knowledgebased solutions to the broad public and participating fishers. Conservationists agree that a better understanding/knowledge about sharks may well increase public awareness about the species' protection [19]. It is therefore important that information is not be restricted to the scientific community only, as support from the general public would increase pressure on regional regulators to police and implement conservation measures [33]. ...
Article
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Challenges that relate to shark conservation may well be a combination of the intersection of people's livelihoods and the ineffectiveness of management strategies. Given the current protection initiatives as well as the implementation of tighter laws restricting hunting and trade, shark conservation is still recognized as a major environmental challenge. The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is used as an export hub and is one of the primary exporters of shark fins to Hong Kong, with a large proportion of fins traded to be from species at high risk of global extinction. The present-day management of shark fisheries also shows shortcomings concerning lawfulness, specifically those relating to regulatory compliance, fishing techniques, and control of finning occurrences. These concerns are not unique to the U.A.E. but emphasize the fact that there are far-reaching problems related to shark conservation. Even in a milieu of strengthened conservation measures and revised legislature, existing information on the effectiveness of a shark finning ban may still be misleading when viewed in the light of over-exploitation and global species abundance. It is therefore important that proper management must be implemented at the inception of shark fisheries. For the U.A.E., this has not always been the case. Instead, the trend was one of limited control and lack of compliance, unfortunately, resulting in a rapid decline in shark abundance, to the point where sharks struggle to recover. This paper focuses on the importance of the species, reviews the current monitoring framework, and seeks to enhance shark protection.
... In fact, knowledge related to the environment and it is ecological processes demonstrates the importance and functionality of animals for human populations, both from an ecological and socio-cultural perspective (Martin, 1995;Posey, 1987). Relevant ethnozoological studies have been carried having with different species of marine megafauna as model organisms, such as shark (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015) and mammalians (Barney et al., 2005;Luksenberg & Parsons, 2013). These studies have shown that the increase in knowledge about wildlife promotes greater behavior and attitudes towards fauna conservation (Kraus, 1995;O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015). ...
... Relevant ethnozoological studies have been carried having with different species of marine megafauna as model organisms, such as shark (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015) and mammalians (Barney et al., 2005;Luksenberg & Parsons, 2013). These studies have shown that the increase in knowledge about wildlife promotes greater behavior and attitudes towards fauna conservation (Kraus, 1995;O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015). Longstanding studies of environmental perception and conservation using flag animals such as sea turtles have shown promise for influencing attitudes towards wildlife, as seen in Costa Rica (Campbell, 2008;Campbell & Smith, 2006;Tro€ eng & Rankin, 2005), Australia (Butt et al., 2016;Fuentes et al., 2011), United Kingdom (Botterell et al., 2020) and United States (Cella et al., 2016;Fuentes et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Natural environment has undergone rapid transformations, primarily attributed to human actions that threaten ecosystems' balance. Understanding the relationship between humans and nature is essential to generate effective strategies for sustainably using resources. In this study, we analyzed the environmental perception and knowledge about the biology of sea turtles through 120 informal interviews with visitors at beaches on the north-central coast of Rio de Janeiro state. Residents noticed garbage more often than tourists, as did women and younger individuals. The perception of initiatives necessary to increase the preservation of the beaches was higher for people with higher education. In general, there were no differences in biological knowledge about sea turtles between residents, tourists and people who work or study at the cities. The results point to the need for oceanic education strategies that can help raise environmental awareness through long-term conservation programs.
... This suggests that ecotourism may be especially beneficial for shark conservation, which has generally struggled to garner the broad public support needed to affect change due to strong negative perceptions of sharks held among much of the general public [12]. Indeed, counteracting misconceptions about sharks and increasing knowledge of their ecological role in the environment have been identified as key for overcoming this barrier [12,22]. ...
... Existing research on general shark perceptions have found that people with high levels of knowledge about sharks also tend to have higher conservation-supportive behaviours [22]. This speaks to the effectiveness of the shark ecotourism program studied here in promoting shark conservation, as participants reported a significant increase in self-perceived knowledge of the ecological role of sharks after the tour compared to before (Fig. 2). ...
Article
Policies to conserve sharks have generally struggled to gain broad public support. Ecotourism programs have been suggested as a way to promote support for conservation by increasing participants’ knowledge of ecology, fostering positive environmental attitudes, and driving increases in conservation behaviour. Yet the evidence is mixed, and some argue that its effectiveness is constrained by the “ceiling effect”, i.e., people attracted to ecotourism programs are already environmentally minded, thus their participation does not result in meaningful conservation gains. Surveys of 547 tour participants in a cage free shark diving ecotourism program and 488 members of the general public were conducted in Hawaii to test whether the program resulted in conservation benefits or whether it was constrained by the ceiling effect. The results show evidence of the ceiling effect, suggesting that the program is attracting more environmentally minded participants. Despite this, tour participants reported a significant increase in knowledge regarding the ecological role of sharks and improved attitudes towards sharks after the tour compared to before. Critically, once responses from tour participants and the general public were pooled and previous engagement in conservation was controlled for, participation in the tour still had a significant positive effect on intentions to engage in shark conservation in the future, suggesting that the program does result in meaningful conservation gains. The usefulness of the information provided on the tour in addition to participants’ age, gender, and satisfaction with the tour all played a role in determining its effectiveness as a conservation strategy.
... Public support for environmental problems can lead to important changes in conservation policies (O'Bryhim and Parsons 2015). Therefore, a better understanding of public attitudes and behavior toward sharks is necessary to encourage support for conservation initiatives (Acuña-Marrero et al. 2018). ...
Chapter
Cabo Pulmo National Park (CPNP) is one of the main tourist destinations in the Gulf of California, especially for recreational diving with bull sharks (Carcharhius leucas). This activity begun in the late 1990s after the National Park was created, the local community changed its main activity from traditional fishing to offer tourist facilities for observation of marine life; as a result, the economic benefits are now greater than ever before. However, these benefits have not been quantified or taken into account in the CPNP management; thus, the objective of this study was to estimate the specific economic value of diving with bull sharks by using a method of revealed preferences (Travel cost) and calculating the consumer surplus (CS) of diving with bull sharks at CPNP as a tourist destination. We deducted the travel cost of each person per day through 250 on-site surveys directed to tourists who visited CPNP to dive with bull sharks. The economic analysis showed that the number of divers who travel specifically to CPNP for bull shark sighting represent 23% of the total tourism visiting the park. The recreational demand function with the econometric treatment of the Poisson model revealed a CS result of $694 USD per person per day with an average of a 4-day stay. This information was useful to promote improvements in management and conservation of bull sharks at CPNP.
... The current study has some potential limitations. Given that shark bite incidents are highly emotive and widely publicised, the prominence of shark discourse in the media may influence public perceptions [69][70][71][72]. It is important to note that the majority of respondents live in locations where recent shark bite incidents have occurred, and where most of the community engagement and awareness of the Shark Management Strategy was initially focussed. ...
Article
Management of human-wildlife conflict is often challenging and complex, particularly when the conflict involves sharks. New technologies are being trialled in New South Wales, on Australia's east coast, to accommodate the community demand for increased beach-user protection that does not harm marine wildlife. Drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles), are one of a suite of potential tools that can address both these demands. We released an online survey to assess beach-user perceptions and attitudes toward drones on NSW beaches as a shark surveillance tool. From 439 respondents, we found the use of drones on coastal beaches was accepted by the majority of people surveyed (88%) due to perceptions of reduced impact on sharks, and the relatively low cost. Drone surveillance was also the preferred approach for bather protection overall. Arguably the most vulnerable beach-user group for a shark bite incident, surfers, claimed the highest level of awareness of the use of drones for shark surveillance, but also indicated lower confidence in their utility compared to other groups. The study demonstrates an overall social licence regarding the use of drones for shark surveillance purposes, with the levels of support likely to increase with further public education efforts and improvements to the efficacy of drone-based surveillance.
... In Australia, however, there has been overwhelming public support for nonlethal measures of shark control following campaigns to educate the public of conservation issues and potential actions to mitigate conflicts (Pepin-Neff and Wynter 2018). Therefore, increased education is necessary to raise public awareness for shark conservation and to foster positive public shark perceptions in Canada (Simpfendorfer et al. 2011;O'Bryhim and Parsons 2015). Following recent lessons learned in Cape Cod as a result of direct human-white shark interactions, it will be prudent to both implement more stringent public safety measures in identified hotspots (e.g., increased life guard presence, relevant first aid training, beach medical response supplies, and signage and safety protocols) and to consider technology-based shark mitigation measures (see Woods Hole Group 2019 for detailed recommendations). ...
Article
Although white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are considered rare in Atlantic Canada waters, recent sighting records indicate a potentially increasing presence. We combine sighting data with satellite telemetry tracks of large juvenile/adult white sharks tagged in U.S. (n = 9) and Atlantic Canada waters (n = 17) to show seasonal white shark presence and distribution in Atlantic Canada, returns by individuals over multiple years, and high site fidelity to the region. Telemetry data indicate that white sharks are a more common and consistent occurrence in Canadian waters than previously thought, presenting two potential scenarios: 1) tagging technology is revealing white shark presence that was historically cryptic, and/or 2) a northward range expansion of white sharks in the Northwest Atlantic, potentially due to climate change, population recovery, and/or increasing pinniped prey. Given combined sighting and telemetry data indicate a current need for proactive management of white sharks in Atlantic Canada waters, we propose the basis for a management action plan, addressing conservation priorities, management goals and research incentives while considering the potential for human-shark interactions.
... Menurut Steel et al. (2005), pengetahuan masyarakat merupakan pusat dalam proses pembuatan kebijakan dan peningkatan pengetahuan masyarakat menjadi langkah awal saat membangun proyek konservasi. Variabel tersebut akan memengaruhi variabel lain seperti sikap dan perilaku (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015). Pengetahuan dapat memengaruhi Pengaruh Penerapan Papadak Terhadap Pengetahuan dan Partisipasi Masyarakat........................... (Muthmainnah, Z., et al) Keterangan/ Remaks: I1 : informasi-perlindungan/information-protection I2 : informasi-pemanfaatan/information-utilization I3 : informasi-pengelolaan/information-management Pr1 : prosedural-perlindungan/procedural-protection Pr2 : prosedural-pemanfaatan/procedural-utilization Pr3 : prosedural-pengelolaan/ procedural-management Ps1 : psikomotor-perlindungan/ psychomotor-protection Ps2 : psikomotor-pemanfaatan/ psychomotor-utilization Ps3 : psikomotor-pengelolaan/ psychomotor-management I2 ...
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‘Papadak’ is a local wisdom in the coastal management within community in Central Rote District. Papadak provided community with access to knowledge and opportunity to participate in marine conservation efforts. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of Papadak on community knowledge and participation in marine conservation in Central Rote. This study was conducted in September-October 2018 in Siomeda Village which had implemented Papadak compared with Maubesi Village which had not implemented Papadak. Method used ex post facto method. Random sampling was used to select 88 people from Maubesi and 80 people from Siomeda ranged between 18-64 years old. Data were collected through questionnaires, key informants interview, and document review. Data then were analysed by U-test. The results showed the higher average score of community knowledge in Maubesi rather than in Siomeda, while the average score of community participation showed the opposite result. This study concluded that there was no effect of Papadak on community knowledge and participation in marine conservation in Central Rote District. Further research is needed to discover other factors influencing community knowledge and participation and how to improve them.
... Although traditional biological considerations are essential to assess the conservation status of a species, it is equally important for biologists and ecologists to understand the social context of media and learn to communicate their conservation messages through them to gain public support for effective management of these ecosystems (Riley et al. 2002;Jacques 2010;O'Bryhim and Parsons 2015). Our study highlights the need for scientists to be proactive and share information about shark behaviour and marine ecosystems through media in positive ways to reduce fear and increase public awareness. ...
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Encounters between humans and wildlife that result in human fatalities can generate public anxiety and increase pressure on conservation managers and governments for risk mitigation. Low probability-high consequence events such as shark bites on humans attract substantial media attention for short time periods, but how the media react when several of these rare but fatal events occur in quick succession has seldom been subject to quantitative analysis. Understanding media portrayal of such encounters is important because it both reflects and influences public perceptions of risks, mitigation measures, and conservation policies. This study examined media portrayals of sharks between 2011 and 2013 in the state of Western Australia during which six shark bites resulting in fatalities occurred. We analysed 361 shark-related articles published in major Western Australian newspapers over 26 months to trace changes in media reporting about sharks prior to, during, and after the six fatalities. The findings indicate that when rare, but fatal human-wildlife events occur in quick succession, negative framing by media of wildlife behaviour and threats can exaggerate public anxiety about the pervasive presence of wildlife predators and high risk of human fatalities. The study highlights the need for government agencies and conservation scientists to better engage with media to provide accurate and effective information and advice to swimmers and surfers about shark ecology and behaviour.
... Noting that different disciplines and communities of practice come with preconceived biases, how can the process for CITES listing simultaneously incorporate vigorous debate about the status of vulnerable species while ensuring that such discussions are not derailed by an expert's use of heuristics (i.e. decision shortcuts) and cognitive biases that can lead to polarized, sensationalized and/or politicized interactions (Guston, 2004;Heeren et al., 2016;Hilborn, 2006;Kloor, 2015;O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015)? ...
Article
International trade in vulnerable marine species is regulated once they are listed in CITES Appendices (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Parties to the Convention submit proposal(s) 150 days prior to the CITES Conference for voting on the inclusion of new species in Appendices I and II, making a case for why CITES listing criteria are met in each case. Before the vote, Parties receive advice from (a) the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, (b) the International Union for Conservation of Nature—TRAFFIC and (c) the CITES Secretariat, among others. This paper offers an expert review of listing processes, which are the subject of much debate in fishery and environment‐protection communities, looking at two specific cases: silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis, Carcharhinidae) and bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus, Alopiidae). The reviewers determine that the evidence made available to voting Parties is substantial, but suffers from non‐standard presentation across assessments. The best available data are not always presented or described transparently in relation to CITES criteria. An extension of the assessment period, as well as the opportunity to refute evidence, has been suggested as ways to support more informed and effective decision‐making by CITES Parties, whose composition of delegations varies greatly in their experience of marine species management and trade. Experts welcomed a greater coherence of advice between fishery and non‐fishery sources in the long term, and proposed a range of suggested improvements for the delivery of information and advice to CITES Parties.
... science-based information), as well as their lack of intention to prey on humans, fear significantly decreased thus exposing a subtle communication strategy to change attitudes toward sharks. In sum, research has shown that the more knowledge people have about sharks and their perceived importance to the marine ecosystem, the more favorable attitudes and pro-conservation intentions they possess (e.g., O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015) and contributions may come from other indirect stakeholders. ...
... Although traditional biological considerations are essential to assess the conservation status of a species, it is equally important for biologists and ecologists to understand the social context of media and learn to communicate their conservation messages through them to gain public support for effective management of these ecosystems (Riley et al. 2002;Jacques 2010;O'Bryhim and Parsons 2015). Our study highlights the need for scientists to be proactive and share information about shark behaviour and marine ecosystems through media in positive ways to reduce fear and increase public awareness. ...
Article
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Encounters between humans and wildlife that result in human fatalities can generate public anxiety and increase pressure on conservation managers and governments for risk mitigation. Low probability-high consequence events such as shark bites on humans attract substantial media attention for short time periods, but how the media react when several of these rare but fatal events occur in quick succession has seldom been subject to quantitative analysis. Understanding media portrayal of such encounters is important because it both reflects and influences public perceptions of risks, mitigation measures, and conservation policies. This study examined media portrayals of sharks between 2011 and 2013 in the state of Western Australia during which six shark bites resulting in fatalities occurred. We analysed 361 shark-related articles published in major Western Australian newspapers over 26 months to trace changes in media reporting about sharks prior to, during, and after the six fatalities. The findings indicate that when rare, but fatal human-wildlife events occur in quick succession, negative framing by media of wildlife behaviour and threats can exaggerate public anxiety about the pervasive presence of wildlife predators and high risk of human fatalities. The study highlights the need for government agencies and conservation scientists to better engage with media to provide accurate and effective information and advice to swimmers and surfers about shark ecology and behaviour.
... Only interview data yielded a suitable amount of records for a robust quantitative analysis, while records from the other sources corroborated the general pattern indicated by the interview records, and all data sources show a dip in abundance in the 2000-2010 period. The small upturn in records since 2010 may reflect an increase in abundance in response to a halving of multispecies fishing mortality in the EU (Gascuel et al., 2016) (although it is unlikely that this species can increase so quickly in abundance given its life-history), an increased observation effort due to an increase in the amount of time spent by the sea by the public in Wales (Natural Resources Wales, 2015) and further afield (White et al., 2016), or an increased public interest in conservation (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015). ...
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Marine extinctions are particularly difficult to detect and almost all have been discovered after the fact. Retrospective analyses are essential to avoid concluding no‐extinction when one has occurred. We reconstruct the Angelshark population trajectory in a former hotspot (Wales), using interviews and opportunistic records. After correcting for observation effort and recall bias, we estimate a 70% (1.5%/year) decline in abundance over 46 years. While formerly widespread, Angelshark distribution contracted to a central core of Cardigan Bay. Angelshark declined almost unnoticed in one of the best‐monitored and most intensively managed seas in the world. Bycatch may be minimized by limiting netting on shingle reefs in Cardigan Bay. We provide the first quantitative time series to reveal the timing and trajectory of decline of Angelshark in the coastal waters of Wales and uncover historical centers of abundance and remnant populations that provide the first opportunity for the focus of conservation.
... Few studies have considered the relationship between understanding of ocean science concepts and tendencies for promoting ocean stewardship. A small number of studies have examined the relationships between environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in relation to marine animals, such as dolphins (Barney, Mintzes, & Yen, 2005) and sharks (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015). They found that higher levels of environmental knowledge would espouse more support for conservation. ...
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The purpose of this study is to investigate students’ mental models of the marine environment and to further examine how these models are related to their perceptions of marine problems. One hundred twenty-eight ninth grade students from a large harbor city in southern Taiwan completed a survey including a drawing activity and a set of two-tier questions. Using a four-factor rubric to analyze student drawings, we found that students’ mental models of the marine environment are generally partial and unconnected. In particular, the human component was often missing in the drawing. Students showed a strong awareness of marine problems; however, their awareness is focused on waste pollution. Moreover, correlation analysis showed that students’ mental models are associated with the scope of the perceived problems.
... In recent years, however, the populations of large sharks have begun to fall [26], which is a problem made especially difficult to address given large sharks' vulnerability to even light fishing pressure, as well as to their relatively low fertility rates and slow growth [26,27]. Moreover, garnering support for shark conservation efforts has been difficult in the past due to public misconceptions about sharks [28], thus more research is needed to inform the public about the importance of conservation management [29]. This relatively recent occurrence (i.e., decrease in large shark populations) has implications for sharks' role as natural guardians of the surfing commons. ...
Article
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This study extends recent research on informal property rights at surf breaks by exploring the process through which nature, by establishing conditions conducive (or not) to the presence of sharks, shapes the baseline level of exploitation by surfers of the common-pool resource represented by surf breaks. Since 1980, there have been nine fatal shark attacks off the coast of California, and in all nine cases the great white shark was the offending species. Given this inherent danger, the presence of large sharks mitigates, at least to some degree, the tendency toward the ‘tragedy of the commons’ in the case of surf breaks. Using data on surf break congestion, surf break quality, shark activity, and other key variables from 144 surf breaks in California, empirical results from OLS and ordered probit models presented in this study indicate that surf breaks in California that are associated with the highest levels of shark activity tend to be less congested, perhaps by as much as 28%, than their counterparts that are visited less often by sharks.
... As a result of this unjustified fear, sharks are denied the protection they so desperately need [39][40][41]. One can only hope that the global decrease in bite rates will put people's minds at ease and ameliorate this unfair prejudice against sharks [42][43][44]. Changing the public's perception of sharks is crucial for both them and for the wellbeing of our oceans. Sharks still represent the most abundant top predators over 50 kg in the marine realm; as such, they serve an essential function in the ecosystem [45][46][47]. ...
Article
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The trends of the world’s top ten countries relating to shark bite rates, defined as the ratio of the annual number of shark bites of a country and its resident human population, were analyzed for the period 2000-2016. A nonparametric permutation-based methodology was used to determine whether the slope of the regression line of a country remained constant over time or whether so-called joinpoints, a core feature of the statistical software Joinpoint , occurred, at which the slope changes and a better fit could be obtained by applying a straight-line model. More than 90% of all shark bite incidents occurred along the US, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand coasts. Since three of these coasts showed a negative trend when transformed into bite rates, the overall global trend is decreasing. Potential reasons for this decrease in shark bite rates—besides an increase in the world’s human population, resulting in more beach going people, and a decrease of sharks due to overfishing—are discussed.
... In a different vein, the broader shark conservation debate is also swayed by people's subjective feelings about sharks. Many studies have shown that the inaccurate stereotypes of sharks-often as cold-blooded killers-hinder corresponding conservation efforts [30,31]. Although different from shark fishing and finning focused in this article, IUCN [32] notes that intentional killing of sharks also contributes to the threatened status of the species. ...
Article
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Sharks play critical roles in the marine ecosystem, and they face serious threats due to overfishing. Conservation efforts have focused on the consumption of shark fins, especially the “finning” practice that removes the fins of a shark and discards the carcass at sea. This article reviews the shark fin legislation in the United States, including the “finning ban” which outlaws finning practices and the “fin ban” that prohibits the use of shark fins entirely. Our case study specifically focuses on the animal welfare, cultural, and policy debates surrounding these bans. We discuss how and why shark finning is regarded as a cruel practice and whether shark fin bans discriminate against Chinese Americans. At the policy level, there is an ongoing policy debate whether a ban on shark fins in the United States would lead to increased protection of sharks or it would have little effect on the global trade. Due to the lack of detailed information on shark fisheries, the policy discussion is likely to persist. Although this case study focuses only on regulations on shark fins, we would like to emphasize that shark fin industry is not the only threat to sharks. Conservationists also need to consider other issues such as bycatch, habitat destruction, and a wider array of policy tools to protect sharks.
... For instance, community-based patrol and surveillance, rather than that organized from the local wildlife protection departments, can be more practical and effective in controlling illegal fishing efforts targeted on Asian horseshoe crabs (Mohamad et al., 2015;Fu et al., 2019;Liao et al., 2019;Meilana and Fang, 2020). Conservation education programs can also act as the more proactive alternative to raise the conservation awareness of stakeholders, reverse the shifting baseline syndrome and reshape pro-environmental attitude towards the overexploited wildlife and environment (van der Ploeg et al., 2011;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015;Soga and Gaston, 2018). However, the gap between conservation knowledge/attitude and practice/behavior often exists (Habel et al., 2013;Nilsson et al., 2020). ...
Article
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Horseshoe crabs are currently threatened by escalating human stresses along the Indo-Pacific coastline. Conservation of their remaining populations, however, is hindered by limited baselines throughout their ranges. We performed a questionnaire survey of conservation experts from diverse geographic regions to identify baselines, prominent threats, impediments and alternative strategies that prioritize Asian horseshoe crab conservation. Despite long-term monitoring across habitat types is lacking, local population declines were widely perceived. Ongoing residential/commercial development along the coast was regarded as the most serious threat. A combination of top-down institutional management and bottom-up stakeholder participation was cited as the most promising strategy. Population and habitat baseline collections should be prioritized in future research to inform conservation planning. In this paper, we summarize the survey findings into the BTPAE (Baseline, Threat, Purpose, Action and Evaluation) framework, which constitutes to our best hope for the future of Asian horseshoe crab conservation.
... These divers came to CPNP looking for a different type of experience from that which happens with the use of chumming. Public support for environmental problems can lead to important changes in conservation policies (O'Bryhim and Parsons 2015). Therefore, a better understanding of public attitudes and behavior toward sharks is necessary to encourage support for conservation initiatives (Acuña-Marrero et al. 2018). ...
Chapter
This study analyzes the current challenges in the science of sustainability, SS, in protected natural areas, particularly the case of a Unit of Environmental Management (UMA—Unidad de Manejo Ambiental) of the Moreletti crocodile in Ría Celestún, Campeche. SS is conceptualized as a holistic approach for identification and resolution of the main problems in sustainable systems with a global, social, and human scope. SS is not a basic or applied science; rather it distinguishes knowledge (scientific and non-scientific) to reach its objective to solve problems in the relationships between society and nature. The results of the analysis revealed intertwining of the activities of biodiversity conservation with sustainable practices in the territories parting from the approach of ecosystem services. This has been a key factor in obtaining advances in proper management of an intensive breeding farm associated with a scheme of productive diversification linked to development of both scientific-technological and social innovation, in which it is sought to conjugate scientific innovation with culture, traditional productive practices, and strengthening of local sociocultural identity of the mangroves to constitute a sustainable civil productive organization.
... First, according to the evolutionary approach, women are considered to have developed a stronger fear toward threatening animals than men [77], either because fear is a strategy to protect children, or because females' lower physical condition increases the probability to be killed by large carnivore predators. Second, the social approach posits that men and women are socialized to endorse and valorize traditional and culturally constructed stereotypical gender roles that depict male as more competent (e.g., active, independent, egotistic and action-oriented) and female as more social (e.g., passive, dependent, generous and family care-oriented) [78,79]. Congruently, Almeida and colleagues [66] observed that, in a sample of pupils between 8 and 10-year-old, boys preferred predators and other animals traditionally associated with a bad image, like bats and sharks, when compared to girls. ...
Article
Sharks are crucial to the marine ecosystem, but they are critically declining. Their bad public image explains, to some extent, the lesser concern for their conservation compared to other marine species. Extending previous research which has mainly focused on the study of attitudes towards sharks, we propose a two studies sequence, first by exploring the shark’s social representation, followed by an exploration of some stereotypical traits that may affect attitudes toward shark conservation. Study 1 specifically exploreed the social representation of sharks in a sample of zoo goers (N = 979). Main results showed that the representation was ambivalent and participants considered sharks as human predators. Surprisingly, findings showed that sharks were also seen as highly agentic and little communal animals. Consequently, Study 2 (N = 60) was designed to more thoroughly explore this gendered view as well as its implications in the attitudes and behavioral intention towards shark conservation. Results showed that, although sharks were again perceived as highly agentic, it was the perception of the sharks’ communality that was associated with more positive attitudes towards their conservation and a higher tendency to choose a shark conservation trust as first choice. Implications of studies 1 and 2 results for sharks’ conservation communication strategies and policies are discussed.
... Education can improve public knowledge and understanding of sharks that will help mitigate fear, promote coexistence, and support for shark conservation [50]. Community education can play a role in changing attitudes towards sharks, improving support for shark conservation, mitigating fear propagated by sensationalised media reporting, encouraging beach/ocean users to accept the risk of ocean use and risk factors to avoid, to minimise risk of shark encounters [1,24,[49][50][51]. To be effective, educational approaches should be tailored to specific beach and ocean users who have different values, beliefs, knowledge levels, interests, and relationships with the ocean [50]. ...
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The future of shark mitigation worldwide, not only depends on economic and environmental considerations but on community support and acceptance of mitigation approaches. Shark mitigation strategies and policy development based on publicly held values in combination with expert knowledge is more likely to be supported and accepted by the public and society in general. In 2015, the New South Wales (NSW) government implemented a five-year Shark Management Strategy (SMS) to trial new and emerging technologies following a cluster of shark bites in 2014 and 2015 (including fatalities); most notably on the NSW north coast. The strategy aimed to increase protection of beachgoers while minimising harm to sharks and other marine animals. This paper synthesises various SMS-related social research studies to generate knowledge and improve understanding of community attitudes, support and preferences for different shark mitigation approaches trialled in the SMS. Our findings show non-invasive mitigation approaches involving shark detection and tracking, and public notifications were supported and preferred over invasive and/or lethal approaches such as nets. Drone surveillance was very highly supported (and preferred over helicopters) for being localised, having the capacity to be incorporated into beach safety operations, and with future potential for automation and the use of artificial intelligence to increase detection capability. Community education was seen as a fundamental component of shark mitigation to help people increase their ability to take personal responsibility for their own safety, improve public knowledge and understanding of sharks, and to mitigate fear; ultimately, to foster coexistence without jeopardising public safety.
... The research on the impact of knowledge on conservation support is unclear. Some research has found that having more knowledge of a species may predispose individuals to support that organism's conservation (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015;O'Bryhim et al., 2016;Penn, Penn & Hu, 2018), while other research has found that the general public may have poor knowledge of an organism or its conservation status, and still support funding for its conservation Karaffa, Draheim & Parsons, 2012;Friedrich, Jefferson & Glegg, 2014;O'Bryhim et al., 2016). In this study, a lack of accurate knowledge about basking sharks did not preclude those surveyed being against legal protection for basking sharks. ...
Article
Basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) visit the coastal waters of Ireland annually, and while protected in Northern Ireland, they are not protected by domestic legislation in Ireland. In Ireland, basking shark conservation relies heavily on publicly reported sightings to assess population size and migration patterns. While basking shark tourism is popular in nearby Scotland, Irish tourism materials rarely feature basking sharks. In order to determine public awareness about basking sharks, public support for basking shark conservation and interest in shark tourism, 173 residents and visitors in Buncrana, Ireland were surveyed in July 2018. The results indicated that public knowledge of basking sharks is low, whilst support for basking shark conservation and interest in tourism are high. Despite the fact that conservation groups rely on publicly reported sightings as a cost-effective research tool that is important for conservation policy, only 7% of survey respondents were aware that they could report a basking shark sighting to local research organizations (Irish Whale and Dolphin Group or Irish Basking Shark Group). Individuals who support conservation were significantly more likely to believe that others would be willing to pay to view basking sharks, indicating a link between tourism potential and support for conservation. This study showed that there may be an untapped tourism market for basking shark viewing in Donegal as well as public support for shark conservation.
... The widespread adoption of voluntary guidelines or compliance with regulations is highly reliant on public knowledge and concern of respective conservation issues, which thus feeds into positive attitudes in favor of conservation (O'Bryhim and Parsons 2015;Gallagher et al. 2017). For instance, Gallagher et al. (2015) and French et al. (2019) found that anglers who were more knowledgeable about shark-related conservation issues held more proconservation attitudes and were more likely to embrace handling techniques that reduce shark mortality. ...
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Shore‐based shark fishing in Florida is rarely monitored as it largely occurs at night on remote beaches and has received a questionable reputation after recent exposure of illegal activity. While these events have led to calls for better management and enforcement, the characteristics of the fishery itself remain largely unknown. Our study, therefore, provides the first comprehensive profile of the Florida shore‐based shark fishery to inform fisheries management and conservation. We distributed an online survey to all Florida Fish and Wildlife shore‐based shark fishing permit holders to gather data on angler sociodemographics, fishing preferences, habits, motivations, and perceptions of shark conservation. We identified three angler typologies that differed primarily by shark fishing experience and frequency: (1) experienced infrequent anglers, (2) skilled frequent anglers, and (3) novice infrequent anglers. Our results revealed that the Florida recreational shore‐based shark fishery itself has increased in participation fivefold since 2010 and generates approximately US$7.8 million (95% CI = $7.2– 8.5 million) annually in equipment expenditures and $34.3 million ($30.4–38.1 million) annually in fishing trips. Surveyed anglers caught a total of 9,617 sharks within a 12‐month period, averaging 11 sharks/angler, and the most preferred target species was the Blacktip Shark Carcharhinus limbatus. Angler motivations for participating in this fishery were grouped into the following categories: leisure and well‐being, experience of the catch, and consumption. Perceptions of shark conservation and management were generally positive; however, many anglers did not believe that recreational fishing negatively impacts shark populations. Most anglers expressed a desire to learn more about handling practices that benefited sharks, which may help managers implement more educational opportunities and communication efforts. Understanding the characteristics and perspectives of anglers from the shore‐based shark fishery in Florida is crucial for highlighting potential management pathways and estimating angler acceptance of management.
... They are also regularly portrayed as violent killers, such as during The Discovery Channel's Shark Week programming (Evans, 2015). Although The Discovery Channel's Shark Week may help increase knowledge of sharks (O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015) the emphasis on violence rather than conservation issues, can lead to a skewed perception of risks, and increased fear, of shark attacks (Myrick and Evans, 2014) which can drive public policy (McCagh et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Natural history documentary films can be a powerful tool for wildlife conservation, providing an accessible means to increase public knowledge of the natural world. There has been an increasing focus in documentary films on the threats to biodiversity in recent years that has positively aided conservation efforts. However, potential ethical and welfare implications of natural history film making are often overlooked. Here, we consider the design and impact of the narratives used and the filming methods employed in natural history film making and their potential implications for conservation. Although these programmes are often lauded for their cinematography, filming techniques and practices should satisfy high ethical standards and should be evaluated to assess disturbance caused to wildlife and any associated negative behavioural and physiological impacts. This evaluation should include the direct impact of the filming, as well as considering the risk of viewers replicating human-wildlife encounters they see on film. Trends towards the use of highly dramatized storytelling, anthropomorphism and the inclusion of inaccurate information should also be addressed. Although some production companies have filming guidelines in place, this is not standard industry practice. Natural history films are an important means of educating and enthusing people about nature and its conservation; however, it is vital that films are made responsibly. To facilitate this discussion, we propose recommendations, including standardised industry-wide guidelines, codes of conduct and independent ethical reviews, for natural history film makers to mitigate and avoid negative impacts.
... Species cognition mainly affects tourist willingness to pay, while wildlife importance cognition has only a significant impact on payment. The results indicate that cognition is a major factor influencing individuals' willingness to pay for biodiversity conservation (Wilson and Tisdell, 2007;Jin et al., 2010;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015;Cárdenas and Lew, 2016;Halkos et al., 2017). This variability maybe because the impact of wildlife importance cognition on the willingness to pay is implicit in species cognition (Jie and Ge, 2014), so it did not have a significant impact; however, wildlife importance cognition (i.e., a deep understanding of the relationship between humans and species) has a significant impact on payment. ...
Article
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Wildlife is invaluable for natural development and biodiversity conservation. We investigated tourist cognition of rare species, as well as their economic value, in protected areas of the Qinling region, China. We focused on the tourist cognition and willingness to pay for the conservation of Giant Pandas, Golden Monkeys, Crested Ibises, and Takins. We also explored the influence of the tourist cognition of ecology and its perceived value on the willingness to pay for the conservation of different species. Results indicated that the tourists are more willing to pay for Giant Pandas and Golden Monkeys. The tourist cognition of species affects mainly the willingness to pay, while the tourist cognition of wildlife importance mainly affects the payment. The tourists’ perceived emotional and cost values have significant positive effects on the willingness to pay for the conservation of Giant Pandas/Golden Monkeys and Crested Ibises/Takins, respectively. Education and income levels have significant positive impacts on the willingness to pay and payment, respectively; therefore, it is necessary to publicise rare species, such as Crested Ibis and Takin, through natural education and experience to improve the tourist cognition of species and ecological environment. In addition, innovative forms of product supply combined with the tourists’ needs should be explored to improve their perceived emotional value and willingness to pay for wildlife conservation.
... Reinforcing this negative image, sharks are also routinely pictured as the dark antagonist to the iconic dolphin. While people picture dolphins as courageous, sociable, virtuous animals that protect both their peers and humans from sharks (Amante-Helweg, 1996), sharks are seen as vicious and evil man-eating beasts (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015). This dichotomy is also found in the tabloid press, where dolphins are portrayed as saviors and sharks as predators (Herzog & Galvin, 1992). ...
Article
Sharks are at increasing risk of extinction. Being a key factor in maintaining the balance of marine life in the ocean, as well as regulating the variety and abundance of the species below them in the food chain, their depletion is threatening the whole marine ecological system. Aside from the fisheries industry regulation, public opinion plays a fundamental role in any conservation effort. However, unlike other iconic sea marine animals such as dolphins, sharks receive little attention, and conservation support from the public. Many scholars attribute such neglect to sharks' bad image amongst the public. The present study was aimed at getting a better understanding of sharks' bad image, using the Stereotype Content Model/Behaviors from Intergroup Affect and Stereotypes map (SCM/BIAS map), and its association with attitudinal and behavioral tendencies toward their conservation. Participants (n = 144; Mage = 22.28; SD = 6.24; 66% female) were assessed in terms of their perceived warmth, competence, and approach-avoidance emotions related to sharks (and dolphins), as well as attitudes toward their conservation and their donation intention. Results showed that, congruent with the SCM/BIAS map, sharks fit the “threatening-awe stereotype” (high competence and low warmth), whereas dolphins align with the “protective stereotype” (high competence and high warmth). Results also showed that warmth was associated with more positive perceptions of sharks and positive attitudes toward their conservation. Warmth as a potential facilitating key factor in sharks’ conservation promotion is discussed.
... Researchers in conservation are increasingly recognising the potential of film as a pathway for achieving widespread environmental outcomes (Jones et al., 2019;Silk et al., 2018). Films with strong environmental themes or subjects may help to raise awareness of conservation issues (Fernández-Bellon & Kane, 2019;Hofman & Hughes, 2018), trigger empathy and concern for threatened species (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2015;Pearson et al., 2011) and motivate behaviour change (Shreedhar & Mourato, 2019). This potential, combined with the growth of streaming platforms, proliferation of short films on social media, and the democratisation of film-making, makes visual storytelling a promising candidate for encouraging HNC and PEB. ...
Article
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Researchers in conservation fields have recently highlighted the potential for visual storytelling to convey environmental messages to large audiences. However, an effective model for how such narratives can produce environmental outcomes, such as human–nature connection and pro‐environmental behaviour (PEB), has not yet been developed. Substantial evidence now suggests that narrative is an effective means of changing beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. This effect is demonstrated in diverse disciplines and understood within the theoretical frameworks of narrative persuasion. We propose a conceptual framework for understanding the impacts of environmental films on environmental behaviours, and connection with nature. Linking insights from the narrative persuasion field with those of conservation psychology, we identify three promising pathways through which environmental films might influence their audiences: (a) reduced resistance to environmental messages, (b) interactions with audience identity and (c) meaningful media experiences. This analysis raises key questions and illuminates priority areas for future research, with an aim to complement and extend existing calls to better appreciate the role of film in addressing environmental problems. Research moving forward should focus on understanding the role environmental films can play in connecting people with nature, promoting PEB and the relationship between the two. Specifically, more attention should be paid to the role of deictic shift in encouraging environmental outcomes, the relation between audiences and characters and the power for film to support self‐expansion. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
... Conservation support has been linked to societal attention and species charisma, with most research and effort focused on popular and attractive species (Bonnet et al., 2002;Clark and May, 2002;Jarić et al., 2019). Additionally, conservation case studies suggest that knowledge can improve public attitudes towards species' conservation (O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015;van der Ploeg et al., 2011;Tisdell and Wilson, 2004). Thus, for a species with a discomfort-inducing nature and a lack of public knowledge about it, conservation prospects may be particularly dire. ...
Article
As aquatic biodiversity continues to decline, recreational anglers are interacting more frequently with imperiled species. As a result, management strategies must be developed to balance fisheries management and conservation objectives. Understanding the human dimensions of these encounters is important for both fisheries management and conservation objectives, because decisions made by anglers have a direct impact on the fish. This work explores angler perspectives and behaviors toward American Eel (Anguilla rostrata), a species listed as Endangered in the Canadian province of Ontario and globally (IUCN Red Listed as Endangered), and not typically targeted by recreational anglers in Ontario. Interviews with 48 anglers on the Ottawa River revealed that almost half had captured an eel at some point, but few had intentionally killed eels (in each case prior to the eel’s Endangered status listing in Ontario). However, a large proportion of respondents were, or would be, uncomfortable handling eels if captured, and almost half of respondents declared a limited or lack of knowledge about the species. These findings suggest that discomfort around eels and limited knowledge about their value (both ecological and economical) do not cause direct harm to eels but may impede full public support for conservation of the species.
... Without such efforts, women may not participate as equals in coastal decision-making processes, or they may have less knowledge on which to base informed decisions. We did not detect an effect of age on ocean knowledge, which parallels findings about public knowledge of sharks and their conservation by O'Bryhim and Parsons (2015), who also found no connection between age and public knowledge. Both our findings and those of O'Bryhim and Parsons are in contrast to work by Steel et al. (2005) who reported a significant impact of age on knowledge. ...
... Research has shown that certain portrayals of sharks in the media, including the sharing of scientist opinions in 'The Conversation' and the sharing of conservation content (e.g., online petitions) on social media (Gibbs & Warren, 2014), can have a positive influence on public opinion toward sharks and shark conservation. Viewers of documentaries such as those on 'Shark Week' have also been found to have significantly higher levels of knowledge about sharks, which can lead to them being more supportive of shark conservation (O'Bryhim & Parsons, 2016). A recent analysis of global media content regarding shark conservation found that shark conservation issues were often being reported inaccurately and in an oversimplified way by the news media (Shiffman et al., 2020). ...
Article
Sharks are often a focus of exaggerated news media coverage, with shark-human portrayals and the species typically involved in these interactions being discussed most frequently. This study advanced understanding of sharks in the media by analyzing 109 shark films to investigate how films portray shark-human interactions. Through analysis of the shark film storylines and posters on the online database IMDb, it was found that almost all of these films (96%) overtly portrayed shark-human interactions as being potentially threatening to humans, a few (3%) covertly portrayed shark-human interactions as being potentially threatening to humans, and only one film did not include potentially threatening interactions. These results showed that films portray sharks in a similar way to how the news media portrays sharks, and therefore future research should include shark films when investigating the influence of the media.
... Sharks (subclass: Elasmobranchii; superorder Selachii) present an opportunity to diversify the human-wildlife conflict literature. Research around human-shark interaction has focused primarily on public (Friedrich et al., 2014;Garla et al., 2015;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015;Acuña-Marrero et al., 2018) and fisher (McClellan Press et al., 2016;Drymon and Scyphers, 2017;Shiffman et al., 2017;French et al., 2019) attitudes toward shark conservation, fisheries interaction patterns and their economic and ecological implications (Stevens et al., 2000;Glaus et al., 2019;Mason et al., 2019), and efforts to mitigate shark depredation and bycatch (Carruthers and Neis, 2011;Gilman et al., 2015;Oliver et al., 2015;Kumar et al., 2016;Mitchell et al., 2018). Researchers have also focused on characterizing the global shark seafood trade (Clarke et al., 2006;Shea and To, 2017), shifting livelihoods of shark fishers (Jaiteh et al., 2017), and emerging opportunities and challenges in shark tourism (Techera, 2012;Vianna et al., 2012). ...
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... The fate of conservation lies in the success rates of influencing attitudes of humans (O'Bryhim et al,. 2015& Leeming et al,. 1997. Conservation efforts may only seem to be valuable when the impacts on human livelihoods are scalable (Wilson et al,. 2005). The attitude, ability and willingness of people to engage in frog-conservation has been indicated to rely entirely on their knowledge levels of people (Thompson et al,. 2002). However, knowle ...
... Dependent on this result, higher knowledge led to a rise in WTP by 0.3 unit. This result was consistent with the existing literature and confirmed the importance of knowledge about species for the bats conservation programme (Frick et al., 2004;Wilson and Tisdell, 2007;Jin et al., 2010;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015). ...
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... The changing of public perceptions to elements of the natural world is not exclusive to deep sea research by any means. Some "undesirables" of nature have experienced a reversal of fortunes such as bats, once associated with vampirism, disease, and the macabre (Hoffmaster et al., 2016), snakes, associated with venomous attacks (Pinheiro et al., 2016), spiders and insects associated with plagues, parasites, and poison (Wiederhold and Bouchard, 2014), fear of large carnivores such as bears, wolves, and wolverines (Johansson et al., 2012), and sharks associated with ruthless man-eating attacks (Simpfendorfer et al., 2011;O'Bryhim and Parsons, 2015). While there are understandable reasons for adversity towards threats such as venomous bites and zoonotic disease transmission, the threat of the deep sea is almost entirely imagined, and it is the imagination element that perhaps poses the most difficult hurdle. ...
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This chapter addresses the contemporary environmental crisis as one that requires fundamental societal shifts of values and ethical relations to the natural world. It discusses the important and progressive changes that have occurred in perceptions of nature during the past half century, changes that have resulted in improved stewardship of aspects of the natural world. It advocates a biocultural perspective, a response that views human values and ethical relations toward the natural world as bounded by species biological requirements, but shaped and influenced by individual and cultural learning and experience.
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This cross-age study explored the structural complexity and propositional validity of knowledge about and attitudes toward sharks, and the relationships among knowledge and attitudes. Responses were elicited from a convenience sample of students (5th, 8th and 11th grade, and college level) and senior citizens (n = 238). All subjects constructed a concept map on sharks and responded to a Likert-type attitude inventory. Based on the work of Novak and Gowin (Leaning How to Learn, Cambridge University Press, 1984), concept maps were scored for frequencies of non-redundant concepts and scientifically valid relationships, levels of hierarchy, incidence of branching and number of crosslinks. The attitude inventory, emerging from Kellert's (The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society, Island Press, 1996) work, generated subscale scores on four affective dimensions: scientific, naturalistic, moralistic and utilitarian/negative. Significant differences were found among subject groups on all knowledge structure variables and attitudinal dimensions. Gender differences were documented on three of four attitude subscales. A series of simple, mulitiple and canonical correlations revealed moderately strong relationships between knowledge structure variables and attitudinal dimensions. The pattern of these relationships supports conservation education efforts and instructional practices that encourage meaningful learning, knowledge restructuring and conceptual change (Mintzes et al., Assessing Science Understanding: A Human Constructivist View, Academic Press, 2000).
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The relationship between attitudes and behavior has been the topic of considerable debate. This article reports a meta-analysis of 88 attitude-behavior studies that reveals that attitudes significantly and substantially predict future behavior (mean r = .38; combined p <<. 000000000001). Relatively large and significant moderating effects were found for the attitudinal variables of attitude certainty, stability, accessibility, affective-cognitive consistency, and direct experience (mean q = .39). A smaller but significant moderating effect was found for self-monitoring (mean q = .29). Methodological factors associated with high attitude-behavior correlations included self-report measures of behavior (q =. 22), the use of nonstudents as subjects (q =. 17), and corresponding levels of specificity in the attitude and behavior measures (mean q = .47). The practical magnitude of attitude-behavior correlations is considered, as are the future directions of attitude-behavior research.
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This paper, third in a series of five reports on results of a national study of American attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors toward wildlife and natural habitats, focuses on the American public's attitudes, perceptions, and understanding of animals. Data were derived from questionnaires administered to 3,107 randomly selected Americans (18 years and older) and random samples of members of the National Trappers, National Cattlemen's and American Sheep Producers Associations. Results are reported and discussed around three topic areas: (1) knowledge of animals (overall and by selected knowledge categories, among major demographic groups, awareness of wildlife management issues); (2) species preference (most liked/disliked, preference for types of animals, in relation to critical wildlife issues, among major demographic groups); and (3) basic attitudes toward animals, considering prevalence in the entire American public and among major demographic groups (including age, sex, race, education, income, urban/rural residence, occupation, attendance at religious services, and marital status). Attitude scale methodology, national survey completion rates, comparison of demographic characteristics of national sample with United States census data, frequency distribution of preferences for 33 animals, and attitude scale mean scores by selected animal-related activity groups are provided in appendices. (JN)
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The Value of Life is an exploration of the actual and perceived importance of biological diversity for human beings and society. Stephen R. Kellert identifies ten basic values, which he describes as biologically based, inherent human tendencies that are greatly influenced and moderated by culture, learning, and experience. Drawing on 20 years of original research, he considers: the universal basis for how humans value nature differences in those values by gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, and geographic location how environment-related activities affect values variation in values relating to different species how vlaues vary across cultures policy and management implications Throughout the book, Kellert argues that the preservation of biodiversity is fundamentally linked to human well-being in the largest sense as he illustrates the importance of biological diversity to the human sociocultural and psychological condition.
The shark in modern culture: beauty and the beast
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Morey S. The shark in modern culture: beauty and the beast. J Undergrad Res 2002:4.
A biocultural basis for an ethic toward the natural world Foundations of environmental sustainability: the coevolution of science and policy
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Kellert S. A biocultural basis for an ethic toward the natural world. In: Rockwood L, Stewart R, Dietz T, editors. Foundations of environmental sustainability: the coevolution of science and policy. Oxford University Press; 2008. p. 321-30.
A biocultural basis for an ethic toward the natural world Foundations of environmental sustainability: the coevolution of science and policy Public perceptions of sharks: gathering support for shark conservation
  • S Kellert
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Kellert S. A biocultural basis for an ethic toward the natural world. In: Rockwood L, Stewart R, Dietz T, editors. Foundations of environmental sustainability: the coevolution of science and policy. Oxford University Press; 2008. p. 321–30. [13] Friedrich LA, Jefferson R, Glegg G. Public perceptions of sharks: gathering support for shark conservation. Mar Policy 2014;47:1–7.