Attitudes Towards Marine Life in China

Human behavior towards the nonhuman world originates in human attitudes. Understanding human attitudes has therefore been recognized as pivotal to facilitate healthy interactions between the human and nonhuman world to deal with issues such as biodiversity loss, wildlife conservation, and animal welfare.

As marine life is under increasing pressure, growing scientific attention has been drawn to this area. This study investigates public attitudes in Chinese society towards marine life and determines the roles of basic human demographics and ethical ideology in shaping this attitude. An online survey was conducted in 22 mainland coastal cities based on a questionnaire regarding demographical information, the Ethical Position Questionnaire, environmental concern, as well as environment-related behavior (measured by the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP)) and an adapted marine life version of the Animal Attitude Scale.

Our results demonstrate that Chinese women are more concerned about marine life protection than men. Chinese citizens generally consider using marine life for food acceptable, but less acceptable for using their skin or fur. Ethical ideology is found to have no influence upon public attitudes towards using marine life for testing in medical experiments. We also found that some environment-related behaviors, such as beach visits, NGO membership/donations, and transportation preferences, were predictors of attitudes toward marine life and marine life usage. Given that this study copes with marine life in a broad sense, future projects are encouraged to pay attention to public attitudes towards specific marine species, such as sharks and dolphins, since few such studies have been performed in the Chinese context.

Read the full papers here:

Chen, M., & Martens, P. (2022). Ethical Ideology and Public Attitudes Towards Marine Life in China, Society & Animals. doi:

Chen, M. & Martens, P. (2022). Environmental Concern and Public Attitudes Toward Marine Life in Coastal China.  Anthrozoös, doi: 10.1080/08927936.2022.2101247

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