The 2021 POP lead project ‘Ocean Literacy’ Survey: Coast to Ocean, A Fife-Eye View’ has now had it’s result formally published Frontiers in Marine Science as an open access paper.
The paper titled ‘Piloting a Regional Scale Ocean Literacy Survey in Fife‘ uses data gathered by the team by an online survey that was completed by residents of the Local Authority Area, between the 8th May and 30th June 2021. The survey was designed to create a baseline for what the community’s ocean literacy (OL) was in Fife, Scotland.
Responses indicated widespread uncertainty about solutions to marine and coastal problems, prompting the promotion of a solutions-based focus for public engagement efforts, particularly regarding local issues. While there was common agreement that the government, businesses and citizens could be doing more to advance the health of the marine environment and climate, only 55% of respondents had already made some changes to their lifestyles with the intention to continue at the point of survey. Some barriers evidently remain. Concern for the marine environment, climate and future generations largely govern the desire to alter behaviour to reap the desired benefits which include the enjoyment of nature, cultural heritage and aids to mental health. Taking a “nested approach” to OL surveying (regional surveys within a national framework) is likely to improve response rates and amplify the voices of rural and coastal communities. Furthermore, the OL surveying platform may opportunistically serve as a useful tool for investigating public priorities in the early stages of marine planning and policy development.