June 8, 2015 11:03 am

Young people in Nova Scotia get failing grade in ocean literacy: study

FILE PHOTO - In this April 28, 2009 file photo, water pours off the tail of a humpback whale as it dives at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Massachusetts.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, file

HALIFAX – A new study says students in Nova Scotia get a failing grade when it comes to marine issues, despite their proximity to the ocean.

Researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax found that public school students in grades 7 to 12 scored below 50 per cent when tested on their ocean knowledge.

Their study, published in the journal Marine Policy, says marine education is critical for ocean health since people tend to change their behaviour if they know it is harmful.

Haley Guest, the study’s lead author, says improving young people’s ocean literacy may help improve ocean health over time.

The quiz and survey were distributed in November 2013 to 723 students at 11 public schools across the province.

The average score on the quiz was below 50 per cent, with most knowledge focusing on ocean life and less on geochemical features in the ocean.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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