Why do people support fish species conservation in European rivers?

An important element for the protection of biodiversity is the willingness of the public to support restoration efforts. Using a longitudinal survey design with 1,000 respondents each in France, Germany, Norway and Sweden, scientists led by the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) investigated which values, beliefs and norms promote conservation-oriented behavior toward native fishes in rivers. The study shows: Germans have little connection to fish. Rather, the protection of fish in this country is supported by general pro-ecological values and norms. In France, Sweden and Norway, on the other hand, native fish species have great influence on individual conservation-oriented behavior. The results explain why some countries make higher investments in fish species conservation and why fish-related issues are differently represented in political discourse.