219884 Rapid Assessment of Lake Ontario Subsistence Fishing Patterns in Urban Communities

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Katrina Korfmacher, PhD , Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Building on existing partnerships with community groups in Rochester, as well as with the Buffalo Riverkeeper organization, we developed a rapid assessment tool for determining which population groups are at risk from fish consumption in urban areas around Lake Ontario, viable outreach mechanisms to reach subsistence anglers, and educational strategies that reach high risk consumers. We piloted this approach in Rochester, NY in 2009 by key informant interviews, over 300 community surveys and interviews with 73 anglers. We determined that African Americans and Latinos consume Lake Ontario fish at rates more than twice those of Caucasians, and that these groups are less well-informed about health risks from local fish. Varied consumption patterns, beliefs, and information sources of different ethnic groups pose challenges for outreach. We will describe how this information has been shared with community and governmental groups to improve communication of health risks to various community groups. This case study will be presented within the context of a national review of existing governmental, community, and academic outreach strategies. Lessons will be shared about how to apply our rapid assessment tool in other communities to inform appropriate, accurate, and effective communication in the face of changing science, ecology, and populations.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe strategies for incorporating diverse community groups' perspectives into study design. 2. Describe the social justice-related complexities of communicating to immigrant, low-literacy, and minority populations, the health risks and benefits of consuming fish including variations in kind and amount of contamination, type of fish, and preparation. 3. Describe the challenges encountered and strategies used to gather baseline sociocultural data with limited resources to inform education, policy, and outreach strategies.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PI of study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.