Dr CHEUNG, Ting On Lewis

The Role of the Perception and the Conceptual Understanding about Shark on the Behavioural Intention for Shark Conservation in Primary Students in Chinese Communities

Project Year: 2019 - 2020

Funding Source: General Research Fund

Project Team Member: Dr CHEUNG, Ting On Lewis

Attributing to the tradition of Chinese such as the luxury seafood consumption, the growth of Chinese economy would potentially possess threat to various wild animals. The threat to shark is one of the most significant global examples of this kind, since the increased consumption of Shark Fin Soup in Chinese culture as a symbol of wealth and  vitality  has  led  to  the  over-exploitation  of  sharks.  Hong  Kong  and  later  China  have  been  recognized  as  the  largest shark fin importer globally. The proposed study aims at addressing a question whether the current formal education  is  effective  in  promoting  shark  conservation  in  the  primary  schools  in  the  Chinese  communities.  In  addition  to  a  comprehensive  curriculum  review  in  primary  subjects  with  respect  to  the  shark  and  wildlife conservation, a questionnaire survey to reveal the conceptual understanding of the ecological role of sharks, the perception  of  the  primary  school  students  on  shark  and  their  shark-consumption  habit  will  be  conducted.  Other  potential correlations among the preference for shark fin consumption, students’ knowledge, perceptions on shark, academic  performance  and  source  of  ecological  knowledge  will  be  assessed  so  as  to  explore  the  major  factors  attributing  to  the  shark  fin  consumption.  Up  to  1000  questionnaires  will  be  distributed  to  at  least  10  schools  spanning  in  at  least  three  cities  in  the  eastern  coast  of  mainland  China,  where  are  the  much  wealthier  region  resembling  the  higher  potential  in  luxury  seafood  consumption.  By  incorporating  the  review  of  the  subjects’  curriculum and the results of survey on the conceptual understanding and perception of primary students’ on sharks, the findings of the proposed study would provide insights on the role of formal education on the shark conservation in China, and identify any loopholes in the current curriculum in conserving sharks.