Posts Tagged ‘angler outreach’

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.

 

 

Fishing is a great sport and provides us all with an enjoyable, active and healthy hobby. FCEC is here not only to promote fishing and the consumption of safe fish to eat, but to also protect the public’s health by reducing the risk of consuming local contaminated fish. Last year, was the first year we partnered with Marina del Rey Anglers to start building awareness of local contaminated fish and promote healthy fishing practices. In the past year, Marina del Rey Anglers, FCEC and Los Anglers joined forces again to reach out to the sport angling community by promoting healthy and safe fishing habits and even added a fun raffle to go along with the outreach!

Marina del Rey Anglers collected 500 commitment letters from anglers pledging to fish responsibly, respect our marine environment and fisheries, release local contaminated fish and keep and consume only safe fish to eat.  Additionally, Marina del Rey Anglers collected over 300 surveys at a number of fishing related events. To sweeten the deal, MDRA secured a brand new Avet Reel to raffle off to local sport anglers who participated in the survey. Way to go MDRA!

Congratulations to Brian S. from Simi Valley who won the reel! We hope to see you using your new reel in fishing photos at www.LosAnglers.org.

Did you know you can post your fishing photos on www.LosAnglers.org too? Show off your latest catches using your fishing gear!

Last month, our Angler Outreach Team conducted their first fishing session. Fishing sessions are a new and interactive way for FCEC to provide outreach to local anglers on how to target safe fish to eat. By bringing the information to the piers and providing a hands-on learning experience, the Angler Outreach Team can directly make an impact on anglers’ behaviors.

“Fishing sessions are a really cool type of outreach. It’s different, and they [anglers] like learning about what type of fish they catch in this area,” reported an Angler Outreach Team member from Heal the Bay.

When fish are caught during the fishing sessions, they are placed into a glass tank for anglers and kids to see. The tank provides an up-close and personal way to help anglers properly identify fish species. Many children have enjoyed “touching the live fish during the fish identification,” portion of the session, and anglers have expressed that they “like having someone out on the pier showing them how to target different fish species that are healthy to eat,”  says an Angler Outreach Team member from Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

The sessions provide both a fun and educational experience for all. Fishing sessions are fit for first time anglers, families and experienced anglers looking to refresh their fishing knowledge. Come join us at the next fishing session with our Angler Outreach Team to learn more about fishing and how to catch the safe fish to eat!

Stay tuned to our Facebook page and event calendar for upcoming fishing sessions. And while you’re waiting for the next fishing session to arrive, check out some of these actions shots from our latest fishing sessions:

FCEC has reached a lot of anglers over the years. What is “a lot” you ask? During 2009-2011 FCEC and our partners have reached out to over 15,400 anglers, conducting a total of 1,979 surveys during this stretch of time. As such, we’ve heard a lot of stories and learned a lot about the folks that frequently fish at our local piers. We appreciate these anglers and the knowledge and experiences they share with us.

Our outreach team has seen these anglers endure heavy winds to catch fish at Belmont pier in Long Beach, talk about cool shark sightings and locate schools of surfperch under the Santa Monica Pier. Frankie Orrala of Heal the Bay even shared his insights in a recent interview that we recommend you check out.

Besides catching fish at the local piers and sighting seals and sharks, anglers have also been interested in our  FCEC Angler Tip Cards, and not just because they have a nifty ruler to measure their fish with! Due to the efforts of the Angler Outreach Team, results have shown a reduced amount of reported Do Not Consume fish consumption and an increase of anglers aware of the contamination. Heal the Bay and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Angler Outreach Team members have been doing fantastic work to protect public health and educate folks about local fish contamination, and we are proud of their efforts!

Check out some photos of the Angler Outreach Team in action over 2011. Happy New Year!

 

 

FCEC celebrated our annual Fisherman Appreciation Day Saturday, June 25 at Santa Monica Pier.  Anglers, members from our partner organizations, families and pier-goers alike joined us to enjoy the sunny weather, learn more about the local environment and which local fish are contaminated, and celebrate our fishing communities!

There were many activities at the event that we think you would like to read about, so why not tell a story through photos?

 

Happy team member Paula

 

 

 

The day started off with FCEC and our partners setting up educational tables where visitors can learn about the work of local environmental, ocean and fishing-related organizations.  Here is our table, complete with a display, tip cards, brochures, and our happy team member Paula!

 

 

 

 

Marina del Rey Anglers

 

 

 

Our partner organizations also had tables, including: Cabrillo Marine AquariumHeal the BayMontrose Settlements Restoration ProgramSanta Monica BaykeeperMarina del Rey Anglers and Seafood for the Future.  Our friends with Marina del Rey Anglers had a table even though they hosted Youth Fishing Day at Fisherman’s Wharf in Marina del Rey that same morning!

 

 

 

Colorful face paint

 

 

 

 

 

We had plenty of fun activities for the kids.  Creative Faces provided face-painting activities to make kids’ faces wonderfully colorful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hooked on Mr. Hookbaitman's trivia game

 

 

 

“Mr. Hook Baitman” from Westside Comedy Theater got the kids hooked on his entertaining trivia game.  Here’s a sample question; see if you can get it right:

1. Which fatty fish has been found to be the most toxic?

A. Dorothy, Elmo’s goldfish   B. Jaws   C. White Croaker

 

 

 

 

Larry Fukuhara's fishing workshop

 

 

 

 

 

Just before enjoying the delicious Mexican food provided by Mariasol Restaurant, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Programs Director Larry Fukuhara led a fishing workshop.  He shared his best techniques for catching local fish that are not contaminated, among other fishing tips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monica and her new custom-wrapped fishing rod

 

 

 

And at the end of the day, it was time to give away our raffle prizes!  The grand prize was a custom-wrapped fishing rod won by a fisherwoman named Monica.

Thank you to Harbor Breeze CruisesSpirit Cruises, the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle Company for their contributions that made the amazing giveaways possible!

 

 

 

 

Heal the Bay's Angler Outreach crew

 

 

 

 

We hope everyone had a great time at Fisherman Appreciation Day and left Santa Monica Pier as happy as our partners from Heal the Bay!

 

 

 

 

 

For more pictures from Fisherman Appreciation Day, take a look at the photo album on our Face book Page.

Did you attend Fisherman Appreciation Day?  Tell us what you thought of the event by leaving a comment below.

Use these new signs as an easy reference.The next time that you are on a local pier, beach or fishing area, keep an eye out for our new fish advisory signs.  These new signs reflect the latest fish advisory set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazards Assessment and will be posted at 29 locations by the end of the summer.

The fish advisory signs remind anglers to protect their health and the health of their families by not eating the five most contaminated fish caught between Santa Monica Pier and Seal Beach Pier: white croaker, barred sand bass, black croaker, topsmelt and barracuda.

The messaging on the signs is printed in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese, so that anglers who speak languages other than English can understand the information.  It was crafted in collaboration with our partners and got positive reviews by anglers on the piers.  We are excited to know that these signs will help anglers to easily determine which fish should not be consumed.

Check out the signs for yourself and let us know what you think.  Use the Google map below to find a fishing location near you.


View larger map

 

If you are looking for additional information about the new signs, here is a roundup of the recent media coverage on them:

“Group warns anglers not to eat some fish they catch”LA Daily News and sister papers

“New ‘Contaminated Fish’ Signs to be Posted in Southern California” – KTLA 5

“Piers get new signs warning against eating 5 kinds of fish”Daily Breeze

“Pier signs warn Southland anglers against eating some fish” – ABC 7

“Signs Warn Shore Anglers of Contaminated Fish”Marina del Rey Patch and sister sites

Everyone is invited to Fisherman Appreciation Day!FCEC team members and partners always appreciate those who fish!  This month, we will be showing our appreciation with a big event: our Second Annual Fisherman Appreciation Day.  We invite you, your family and friends to join us for a day of free food, fun games, educational displays and raffle prizes.  Everyone is welcome!

Date: June 25, 2011

Time: 11am – 2pm

Location: The end of Santa Monica Pier

This year’s Fisherman Appreciation Day will have face painting activities offered by Creative Faces, entertainment by Westside Comedy Theater, and interactive games for the children along with educational booths staffed by several organizations, including Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Heal the Bay, Montrose Settlements Restoration ProgramSanta Monica Baykeeper, Marina del Rey Anglers and Seafood for the Future.  These booths will give you the opportunity to learn about the local environment and contamination.  FCEC team members will also provide tips on how to protect your health by not consuming contaminated fish.

As for those who are interested in honing their fishing skills, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Program Director, Larry Fukuhara, will lead a workshop at the event.  During the workshop, we will serve free food and refreshments provided by Mariasol Restaurant.

Finally, to really show our appreciation, we are giving away raffle prizes valued at over $400.  The prizes include whale watching and harbor cruise tickets, tickets to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and a custom wrapped fishing rod.  Thank you to Harbor Breeze Cruises, Spirit Cruises, the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle Company for their generous contributions.

Fisherman Appreciation Day happens only once a year.  So, help us to make this celebration worthwhile by coming out with your friends and family!  You can download the event flyer and distribute it to others.

If you have any questions or thoughts about this event, leave a comment below and we will get back to you shortly.

FCEC MapDid you know our site now features a new page that shows information that will be useful to everyone, from anglers to families?  We proudly unveil the FCEC map, which highlights a few things:

Pier Locations by Zone

We often mention how fish consumption guidelines vary by fishing zone: white croaker, barred sand bass, topsmelt, black croaker and barracuda should not be eaten if caught from the red zone.   Black croaker and barracuda should also not be eaten if caught from the yellow zone.

What might have been difficult to figure out though, was which zone your pier falls under.  Now, you can use our FCEC map to determine that information.  All piers from Ventura Harbor to San Clemente Point are marked according to zone.

Bait & Tackle Shops

Not sure if there are any bait & tackle shops near your house or a certain pier?  The FCEC map marks those locations as well; just look for a fish-head and rod.

Community Organizations

The map also highlights several community organizations, including angling clubs, environmental organizations, aquariums and ethnic wellness services.  The United Anglers of Southern California, Heal the Bay, Cabrillo Marine AquariumAquarium of the Pacific and Boat People SOS are all on there.

We hope you will use this map frequently; it’s there not only to help you determine which fishing zone a pier is located within, but also to serve as a directory for places related to fishing, the ocean and public health.

If you have any suggestions for additional locations that would be useful to you, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email us.

FCEC presenting to the LBYC Anglers

Do you remember FCEC’s visit with the Saltwater Fly Rodders last month? We talked about the contamination off of the Palos Verdes Shelf and gave their members ways to reduce consumption of contaminated fish.

Last Wednesday, FCEC visited another organization: the Long Beach Yacht Club Anglers. The Anglers had scheduled their monthly dinner and invited us to present to over 75 of their members.

The club was founded in 1963 as an interest group for fishing enthusiasts organized under the Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC). Currently, the Anglers have over 250 members and are the largest group within LBYC.

Charitable activities are important to their members: they donate fishing equipment to underprivileged children and educate individuals abroad who are interested in the sport.

The Anglers also promote public health by organizing fundraising tournaments for the City of Hope and Team Spirit Breast and Ovarian Cancer Walk.

Passing It On

At the meeting, our team member, Codi, met Dick, who is a Fishing Merit Badge counselor for the Boy Scouts. He found the information helpful for himself and his scouts: “I think it’s very important…I run into this all the time. This information is something I am certainly going to pass along to the kids when going through their merit badge.”

People like Dick and other Anglers of the Long Beach Yacht Club help us to spread our message past the organizations we visit and into the greater community. The more that people know about local fish contamination, the greater the chance of reducing health risk.

Thank you LBYC Anglers for having us and keep up the great work!

FCEC’s biggest goal is to reduce the consumption of contaminated fish by Southern Californians.  Since fishermen catch and eat a lot of fish, what better way to reduce consumption of contaminated fish than reach out to them directly?

Last week, the Saltwater Fly Rodders in Montrose, CA invited FCEC to conduct a presentation about fish and sediment contamination off of the Palos Verdes Shelf.

Formed in 1968, the Saltwater Fly Rodders has been the only club on the West Coast devoted to saltwater fly fishing.  Even though the club is based in Montrose, its members have fished in places worldwide, such as Thailand and the Seychelles.

What’s great about the Fly Rodders is that they are supportive of educational and conservation efforts related to saltwater fisheries and saltwater fly fishing.  The club regularly participates in trade shows and leads fly tying demonstrations.

Increasing Awareness

The fishermen who attended our presentation at the club’s meeting left with some good takeaways.  Some of them knew that the white croaker was contaminated, but many of them were unaware that they should avoid eating fish like the topsmelt.

Phil Peck, a member of the Fly Rodders, found the information important to know: “I had no clue that contamination existed… I think it’s very important and everybody should know about it because you shouldn’t be eating that stuff!”

The message isn’t stopping there, though.  After the presentation, the Fly Rodders signed commitment letters and agreed to pass on what they learned to other fishermen.

How’s that for helpful?  We’d like to give the Saltwater Fly Rodders a huge thank you for having us.

Is your fishing club based in Southern California and is interested in learning more about fish contamination near the Palos Verdes Shelf?  Leave a comment below with some contact information or email us at info@pvsfish.org.  And don’t forget that our YouTube channel also has useful videos that help you identify fish you shouldn’t eat.