Relationships between human health and marine biodiversity loss in 14 European countries

Available on 4 April 2023

Marine biodiversity loss has direct and indirect effects on human health and wellbeing. Recent European data suggest that the public is aware of this, identifying marine biodiversity protection as its top research priority in terms of oceans and human health, rated higher than issues such as plastic, chemical, and microbial pollution.

The current study aimed to better understand key socio-demographic and personality predictors of concern about marine biodiversity loss and the desire for more research into marine biodiversity protection, in an attempt to support communication efforts targeting specific sectors in society.

Data were drawn from nationally representative samples of 14 European countries (n = 14,167). Results show greater concern about marine biodiversity loss and support for more research into marine biodiversity protection by older adults, females, and individuals: (i) without (vs. with) a university degree; (ii) with lower (vs. middle) incomes; (iii) who identified as politically left-wing; (iv) who
visited the coast more often; and (v) those with more open, agreeable and conscientious personalities.

These results suggest that although concern and research support are generally high among European citizens, policy makers and communicators need to take into consideration individual-level variation.

Full citation

Davison, S.M.C., White, M.P., Pahl, S., Taylor, T., Borja, A., McMeel, O., Kellett, P., Roberts, B.R., Fleming, L.E., 2023. Concern about the human health implications of marine biodiversity loss is higher among less educated and poorer citizens: Results from a 14-country study in Europe. Frontiers in Marine Science 10.