Seas at Risk and Oceana commissioned a study at EU level to gather quantitative information concerning the public attitudes towards ocean protection and fishing practices in the EU.

The majority of citizens interviewed in the selected countries believe that protecting the ocean and marine ecosystems are very important. More than 9 out of 10 considering it essential or important to protect endangered species, preserve ocean habitats, minimize pollution, reduce illegal fishing, and stop overfishing.

The general level of knowledge about marine protected areas is relatively low, with only 1 out of 3 people being fully aware of their purpose. However, once informed about MPAs, the vast majority (9 out of 10) of citizens believe marine protected areas are necessary to protect marine biodiversity. Public opinion does not consider bottom trawling to be a sustainable fishing practice, with 3 out 4 people expressing high or moderate concern about its impact on the ocean and marine ecosystems. This sentiment drives a push for stricter legislation to protect the ocean and marine ecosystems. Overall, 3 out 4 citizens would ban bottom trawling in marine protected areas, and almost 9 out of 10 expect political leaders to prioritize the protection of marine biodiversity.

Press release