Due to the diverse nature of the angling community that is affected by the Palos Verdes Superfund Site contamination, it is an ongoing mission to keep local anglers safe from consuming the 5 local contaminated fish species. In order to increase anglers’ awareness of the Do Not Consume (DNC) fish, FCEC implemented a project that focuses on reaching out to local bait shops.
FCEC began conducting outreach to bait shops and retail stores in November 2013, and March 2014 marked the completion of the first round of visits. Stores FCEC targeted ranged from small local bait shops to large retail stores. So far, outreach is off to a great start. As of March 2014, FCEC has educated 102 employees at 81 angler retail and bait shops in 27 cities near the Red Zone. The majority of store owners and employees were supportive of the message and many pledged to keep the DNC fish information readily available to protect their customers’ health. By leveraging the help of local stores and their employees who are often viewed as experts to their angling customers, FCEC is able to relay the Do Not Consume advisory to the targeted angling audience.
During one of our outreach sessions we were pleased to learn that Eileen, an employee at a local bait shop in San Pedro, recognized our tip cards from a previous store that we visited and placed materials. This was great news, because it means our outreach efforts are working!
After placing FCEC Tip Cards in the bait shops, we followed up with the stores. This was when Eileen told us “the cards are all gone. The first time I saw the [FCEC Tip] cards was at another bait shop, and I thought it was a great idea. I think it’s important for people to stay aware of these issues – [especially since] my husband is a fisherman.”
When the FCEC outreach team visited the stores, a generous supply of FCEC Tip Cards were placed near the bait or fishing accessories areas where any angler getting ready to go fishing could take one or a few to pass on to other local anglers.
Following the completed first round of outreach, the FCEC outreach team will continue to conduct follow-ups with these stores throughout the year to ensure they have an adequate supply of FCEC materials for their angling customers.