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Hynes, Norton & Corless
Public Perceptions of the Irish Marine Environment
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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 ofthe Irish survey are also compared to the results from similar surveys carried out in othermaritime countries in the EU. The views of the Irish public towards the seas and oceansaround the Irish coast are relatively unknown. This is despite the fact that that Ireland hassovereign rights over 900,000km2 of seabed (which is an area 10 times the size of the landarea of Ireland). The results of the Irish survey demonstrate a reasonable level of knowledgeof the main threats facing Irelandís marine environment and of the importance of non-marketas well as market ecosystem services provided by the seas around the Irish coast. The resultsalso suggest that the Irish public are sceptical of the ability of government and privateindustry to manage the Irish marine economy but instead place a large amount of trust in thecompetency of scientists. The perception of whether or not they consider where they live asbeing a coastal area would also suggest that the Irish public hold a much more narrow viewof what constitutes a coastal area than that held by statistical agencies such as Eurostat.
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