Resources / Publications

Public preferences for policy intervention to protect public health from maritime activities: A 14 European country study

• Roberts BR, White MP, Davison SMC, McMeel O, Eatock C, Kellett P, Calewaert J-B, Fleming LE.
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Published gold open access in Global Environmental Change 2021


  • European public are aware of the economic benefits of maritime activities.
  • Potential link observed between perceived impact on the environment and on human health.
  • Cross-country differences highlight need for tailored communications and policies.

The coasts, seas and oceans provide us with many resources.  The European Union (EU) recognises the importance of the blue economy for jobs and economic growth without harming the marine environment.  Currently little thought has been given to how these activities might impact public health.

The SOPHIE survey of people in 14 European countries explored public perceptions of these issues. People understood the interconnections between marine activities, environmental protection and public health, as well as the potential trade-offs. Preferences for policy intervention to protect the public health were predicted by different factors (such as age, marine environment contact). There were important differences across countries which need to be considered when making new policies.

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