- Research aims to understand community attitudes to different approaches to managing and conserving sharks
- Findings will inform government policy and communication
- 1,000 NSW respondents aged 18 years and over needed for brief online survey
Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) researchers are seeking participants for a study to determine community attitudes to different approaches to managing sharks.
Associate Professor Peter Simmons (pictured on right), a research fellow in the Charles Sturt School of Communication and Creative Industries, and Dr Michael Mehmet (on left), a researcher and senior lecturer in marketing in the School of Management and Marketing, have been studying community attitudes to sharks in NSW since 2016.
Their research has focussed on analysing what people say in public social media discussions, and in discussion groups they have convened along the NSW coast.
“Beaches, sharks and the ocean are all very important to Australians,” Professor Simmons said.
“So it’s important we understand what the community thinks about the many different approaches to managing and conserving sharks.
“It will be valuable now to get an understanding of how many people support the different shark management approaches that are under consideration by governments and relevant agencies.
“Authorities often find themselves between competing advice about the best way forward.
“For policy development, and communication about policy, it’s important we understand what stakeholders as well as the general community think.”
The current research initiative seeks responses by 1,000 people aged 18 years and over to an online survey that takes between six to 10 minutes to complete.
“Participants are given a scenario involving an incident with a shark and then asked to indicate their attitudes to different approaches to managing the incident,” Dr Mehmet explained.
“We are interested to hear from people over the age of 18, including people who use or have an interest in the beach and ocean, as well as people who don’t go to the beach.”
The Charles Sturt ‘Shark Conservation and Management Survey’ can be completed here:
Associate Professor Peter Simmons and Dr Michael Mehmet are also members of the Charles Sturt Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS).