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A multi-country public opinion survey indicates widespread public recognition of threats to the ocean and support for protective measures. This post previews the study’s key findings and provides access to the global and country-level reports for readers to learn more.

Perceptions of the Ocean and Environment, prepared by Kantar, the world’s leading data and insights company, finds near-unanimous support for government action to protect the ocean.

At least 92% of individuals surveyed across six countries expressed support for ocean protection regulations.
Despite some differences across countries, the study finds that 94% of those surveyed across all countries perceive the ocean as important to their country’s economy.

The results from this study contribute to the body of evidence indicating growing public concern on environmental issues. Importantly, the study sheds new light on public opinion about environmental issues in Asian and Latin American countries, given that research to date has focused primarily on the United States and Europe.

The research study, funded by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, captures the opinions of more than 7,000 people across six of the world’s biggest coastal nations that are among the largest producers and consumers of seafood—Chile, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Japan and the United States.

The study identifies that the vast majority (between 71 percent in Indonesia to 95 percent in Chile) of the surveyed population agree that human activity is damaging the ocean. Plastics and litter were perceived as principal threats to the ocean, followed by loss of fish and other marine wildlife.

People across all countries studied, except Indonesia, believe their respective governments are not doing enough to protect the ocean surrounding their country. Across all six countries, there was near-unanimous support for government action to protect the ocean (more than 92 percent).

Here are some key country-level findings from the report:

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In Chile, 96% surveyed believe the condition of the ocean is important to the economy, and 90% rate ocean health today as “poor” or “very poor.”

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In China, 99% surveyed support the need for government regulations and marine protected areas—areas off-limits for fishing and commercial use.

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In Indonesia, 81% surveyed think protecting the environment has a positive impact on the economy, and 92% support environmental conservation regulations to protect the ocean.

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In Japan, 92% surveyed support establishing marine protected areas, and 91% consider the loss of fish and other marine wildlife as a major threat.

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In Mexico, 95% surveyed think climate change is a very or somewhat serious threat, and 74% think the condition of the ocean has “worsened” in the last ten years.

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In the United States, 92% surveyed believe government regulations are necessary, and 69% say the government is not doing enough to protect the ocean.

Read the full report:

Click on the embedded report to navigate through all pages, or download the report as a PDF in the Downloads list below.

Packard Kantar Ocean Report FINAL


Press release: The Ocean Is An Economic Force In Need Of More Protection, New Study Finds

Full report: Perceptions of the ocean and environment (full report)

One-page summary: Perceptions of the ocean and environment (summary with map)

Read overviews about each country: