Shark Bites and Public Attitudes: Policy Implications from the First before and after Shark Bite Survey

Marine Policy (2012)

3 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2013

See all articles by Christopher Neff

Christopher Neff

University of Sydney

Jean Y.H. Yang

The University of Sydney - School of Mathematics and Statistics; The University of Sydney - Charles Perkins Centre

Date Written: May 1, 2012

Abstract

Public feelings toward sharks are expected to grow negatively following shark bites on humans. Media and government responses are often predicated on this presumptive emotional response; however, there have been no published data on attitudes toward sharks following shark bite incidents. This study shows that levels of “pride” in white shark populations in the absence of an incident remained steady after a shark bite occurred. This was consistent across response areas regarding other marine life and “confidence” in beach safety programs. Results are based on a pilot survey conducted in the Cape Town beach suburbs of Fish Hoek and Muizenberg before and after a shark bite at Fish Hoek beach. The study found no statistical significance between survey responses and the occurrence of the shark bite incident. The results indicate a previously undocumented level of public sophistication following these events. This data challenges the underlying basis of policy responses to shark bites and suggests new considerations of public knowledge, endemic value and causal narratives should be incorporated into decision making.

Keywords: public policy, beach safety, shark bite, public attitude, survey, conservation

Suggested Citation

Neff, Christopher and Yang, Jean Y.H., Shark Bites and Public Attitudes: Policy Implications from the First before and after Shark Bite Survey (May 1, 2012). Marine Policy (2012), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2233843

Christopher Neff (Contact Author)

University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
+61424440227 (Phone)
+61424440227 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.christopherneff.com

Jean Y.H. Yang

The University of Sydney - School of Mathematics and Statistics

Sydney, New South Wales 2006
Australia

The University of Sydney - Charles Perkins Centre ( email )

Sydney, 2006
Australia

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
75
Abstract Views
659
rank
451,233
PlumX Metrics