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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

Survey on Koreans’ perception of the ocean reveals weak future-oriented perspective

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  • Date : 2012-05-03

What first comes to the minds of Koreans when “ocean” is mentioned? A recent survey revealed “nature” as the answer of the majority, with very few seeing the ocean as a “new future growth engine” which can provide solutions to the problems of natural resource depletion and environmental pollution. 


The Republic of Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute (KORDI) announced on April 18 the results of a survey it conducted in Republic of Korea to help establish the brand of the Republic of Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST), which will be inaugurated in July.


When survey participants were asked what they think of first when “ocean” is mentioned, 37.5 percent of participants chose fishery products, followed by waves (21.7 percent), ships (19.1 percent), the future (16.5 percent), others (3.3 percent), and departure (1.9 percent). Notably, the more aged the respondents, the more likely they were to say fishery products, while “future” was singled out by more people in their 30s and 40s. 


By region, more people in large cities, including Seoul, Daejeon, Daegu, and Busan, chose “nature” as the image that comes to mind in relation to the ocean than did people in other regions. In contrast, relatively more people in Ulsan Metropolitan City, and the Gyeonggi, Gangwon, North Jeolla and North Chungcheong provinces selected “the future” than those in other regions. 


Asked what comes to mind when they hear “ocean science and technology,” 63.6 percent of survey participants chose development of oceanic resources, followed by undersea exploration (50.1 percent), shipbuilding technology (39.9 percent), and polar exploration (34.1 percent). People nationwide selected “development of oceanic resources” the most, followed by “undersea exploration.”


Dr. Kang Jung-keuk, president of KORDI, commented, “The survey revealed that many Koreans still have weak future-oriented perception towards the sea and ocean,” adding, “The establishment of KIOST, scheduled in July, will serve as a turning point to promote anew to Koreans the importance and meaning of ocean science and technology.”


Asked who would be the most appropriate person to be named “Goodwill Ambassador” of KIOST, if the institute selects such a figure, 63.6 percent of survey participants singled out Olympic gold medalist swimmer Park Tae-hwan, who is nicknamed “Marine Boy.” Park was followed by pop singer IU (13.2 percent), who serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for Expo 2012 Yeosu Republic of Korea, swimmer Chung Da-rae (8.5 percent), Lee Chung (6.6 percent), who served in the Marine Corps, and Bada (3.5 percent), a member of the pop group SES.


The survey was conducted with 1,000 Koreans nationwide aged 19 years or older. The survey has a confidence rate of 95 percent, and a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


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Last Update : 2020-03-07