This paper presents the results of a nationwide survey in Ireland that explored the values, concerns and preferences of individuals towards the Irish marine environment. The results of the Irish survey are also compared to the results from similar surveys carried out in other maritime countries in the EU. The results of the Irish survey demonstrate a reasonable level of knowledge of the main threats facing Ireland׳s marine environment and of the importance of non-market as well as market ecosystem services provided by the seas around the Irish coast. The results also suggest that the Irish public are sceptical of the ability of government and private industry to manage the Irish marine economy but instead place a large amount of trust in the competency of scientists. The perception of whether or not they consider where they live as being a coastal area would also suggest that the Irish public hold a much more narrow view of what constitutes a coastal area than that held by statistical agencies such as Eurostat.