What's the Catch? Reducing Consumption of Contaminated Fish Among Anglers

Jonick, T., Anderson, E. L., Lin, S., Bruni, C. M., Schultz, P., Groner, S., et al. (2010). What's the Catch? Reducing Consumption of Contaminated Fish Among Anglers. Social Marketing Quarterly, 16(1), 32-51.

In Southern California, white croaker caught within proximity to the Palos Verdes Shelf Superfund Site have been found to be contaminated with such high levels of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane and polychlorinated biphenyls that fish consumption advisories recommend that this fish should not be consumed. In response to this risk, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has initiated an Angler Outreach Program designed to reduce the quantity of contaminated fish (specifically, white croaker) anglers bring back to the community. The current project describes the development of a community-based social marketing campaign targeting anglers, and reports results comparing the number of white croaker anglers took back to the community before and after a strategic intervention. Results indicate that the program was highly successful in positively modifying angler behavior. Postintervention results demonstrate that the strategic intervention reduced the number of white croaker entering the community by 93%, and also produced a large reduction in the percentage of anglers who left the fishing site with white croaker. In addition, anglers reported an increase in positive behavior with regard to their white croaker consumption habits.

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