Correlates and Consequences of Public Knowledge Concerning Ocean Fisheries Management

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Abstract:

Because everyday citizens and nonexpert stakeholders are either directly or indirectly involved in ocean health restoration plans and engage in activities that may place fisheries at risk, it is important to understand the scope and depth of their policy-relevant knowledge. Using a mail survey of more than 3000 Pacific Northwest U.S. citizens, we investigated levels of coastal and ocean policy-relevant knowledge, information sources associated with higher levels of policy-relevant knowledge, and relationships between knowledge and support for Pacific fisheries restoration. We found that citizens knowledgeable about ocean conditions were most supportive of ocean and coastal protection; that somewhat malleable situational factors are important predictors of knowledge; and that some sources of information are more directly connected to knowledge than others. This study concludes that public knowledge is a critical component of support for ocean and coastal management and that there are effective means for enhancing public knowledge.

Keywords: Pacific Ocean fisheries; information sources; policy attitudes; public knowledge

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920750590883105

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA 2: Division of Governmental Studies and Services, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA 3: Department of Sociology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA 4: Environmental Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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