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Getting Below the Surface

Date published
FormatSummary Report - 6 Pages
How long will it take to read?20 Minutes
Download linkClick here

Understanding the public’s existing ways of thinking about the ocean reveals a set of initial recommendations for communicators – strategies for avoiding unproductive ways of thinking and tapping into patterns of reasoning that increase understanding and motivate engagement.

Key Takeaways

Strategic Framing Recommendations: 

  1. Avoid reliance on crisis language.
  2. Avoid talking about the ocean as an economic resource for human consumption.
  3. Cue and expand the idea of the ocean as a sustainer of human wellbeing.
  4. Build on existing knowledge to expand understanding of marine systems.
  5. Emphasise ecosystem disruptions.
  6. Make sure to specify what government can and should do.
  7. Introduce, explain and showcase specific systemic solutions.
  8. Avoid language that romanticises the vastness or mystery of the ocean.
  9. Discuss pollution other than oil spills and plastics.
  10. Stress negative outcomes for all human populations, not only coastal communities.
  11. Highlight compatibility between marine conservation and human prosperity.
  12. Avoid focusing solely on individual action.
  13. Avoid the generic ‘we’ when attributing responsibility for ocean protection.