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Public Perception of Ocean Governance and Marine Resources Management in Taiwan

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Understanding public perception of the oceans, and relationship between society and the sea is an important key to the sustainable management of marine resources. This research reports the first population-based survey on Taiwanese public knowledge, attitudes, and actions on marine-related issues. The stratified random sampling by county was completed with 1,120 telephone respondents from October to December 2010. More than 60% of the respondents have heard about global warming, sea-level rising, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the coral reef bleaching crisis, and Japan whaling fisheries. However, less than 20% of the respondents are aware of Taiwanese domestic marine policies, such as the Ocean White Paper. On resources conservation, 74.7% of the respondents support the bluefin tuna catches regulations and 76.6% agree that the shark fin fisheries will impact shark resources. Education and age are the major affecting variables for resource conservation and knowledge. Higher education and age 40–49 are most supportive of conservation measures. For marine recreational activities, 42.2% of the respondents can swim, and 44.2% of the respondents had not visited the beach in the previous year. The results suggest that the government could establish a specialized agency to strengthen its marine policy and take more actions to protect ocean environment and conserve marine resources. To encourage more Taiwanese to participate in ocean recreational activities, the government could build a safe facility for marine recreation, cooperate with the private sectors in education, and provide outreach to raise public awareness of the oceans.
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Keywords: marine affairs; marine awareness; public perception; telephone survey

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Marine Affairs and Resources Management, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan

Publication date: 2013-09-03

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