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WMJ. 2013 Jun;112(3):111-6.

Fish consumption and advisory awareness among older Wisconsin fishermen.

Author information

1
Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health, Madison, Wis , USA.(Imm, Anderson, Knobeloch); Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Management, Madison, Wis (Schrank). pamela.imm@wi.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The provision of fish consumption advice issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has evolved over the past 40 years. In 2010, DHS received a US Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant to evaluate existing advisory approaches, identify gaps, and adapt current communication approaches.

METHODS:

Previous research conducted by DHS found that older, male anglers eat more sport fish and have higher body burdens of persistent contaminants found in fish than other groups. As part of the GLRI, Wisconsin DHS and DNR aimed to engage this subpopulation and improve communication by using an Internet-based survey to collect information about fishing habits, consumption, and advisory awareness. At the end of the survey, participants were provided with answers to advisory questions and links to relevant online information. From fall 2011 through spring 2012, 827 men aged 50 and older completed this survey.

RESULTS:

Nearly all fishermen were aware of the existence of consumption advisories. Although awareness was high, penetration of traditional outreach materials was low with fewer than 35% having seen any of the pamphlets featured in the survey. Knowledge of the advisories was significantly higher among residents of counties along Lakes Michigan and Superior and among more frequent sport fish consumers. Men who were aware of these advisories were significantly more likely to have modified their consumption behavior.

CONCLUSION:

Wisconsin's experience suggests general awareness among older male anglers. Participation in the online survey and responses to sources of advisory information supports the need to expand the current outreach program to reach and inform the fish-consuming public.

PMID:
23894808
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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