Concern about marine pollution and conservation is growing amongst UK surfers, a recent online survey aimed at the surfing public has shown. The survey aimed to find out if those who enjoy surfing as a leisure pursuit are concerned about the marine environment and conservation issues. It was commissioned in January 2013 by Sea-Changers in collaboration with Surfers Against Sewage, and was completed by 300 surfers.
The key headlines from the survey were:
· Over three quarters of surfers (77%) describe themselves as ‘very concerned’ about marine conservation issues.
· 94% of surfers believe that pollution from sewage outlets to be a serious problem.
· 98% of surfers believe that marine litter is a serious problem.
· 92% of surfers believe that inappropriate coastal development is a serious problem.
· There is evidence of growing concern about the marine environment over the last 5 years, and high proportions of surfers say that they are seeing more sewage and pollution (60%) and litter (73%) when they surf.
· Surfers say that they are keen to minimize their own environmental impact and 95% say they would actively choose businesses that are working to protect the marine environment.
· Over half (54%) of surfers that took part in the survey agreed that they would even be “prepared to pay a small donation (e.g. £1, $1, €1) each time they go surfing, to protect the marine environment.”
Survey respondents displayed considerable knowledge about the issues facing the oceans, suggesting that surfers are passionate advocates for the environment they enjoy. One surfer summed up the concerns thus: “There will be nothing left of it, just dead water, if we do not stop abusing it.”
Notes about survey:
1. An online survey aimed at the surfing public was designed and programmed by the independent market research company Community Research. A link was distributed as widely as possible using social media and posting the link to the survey on many different forums and websites. Existing followers were also asked to pass the link on to those in their networks who surf.
2. The final sample size was 300 people
3. All figures quoted in the report are based on the total sample.