Posts Tagged ‘outreach’

Like most of us, many local Chinese and Vietnamese community members are foodies. They are passionate about what they eat and since fish is a regular part of the Chinese and Vietnamese diet, active partnerships with the Herald Community Center (HCC) and Boat People SOS (BPSOS) have been critical in connecting FCEC’s message with these affected community members.

Although many local Chinese and Vietnamese community members are avid fish lovers, many have never heard of FCEC or about the health risks concerning contaminated fish consumption before HCC and BPSOS provided outreach. In the past, language was a barrier to delivering the Do Not Consume (DNC) message to this audience. Now with the help of HCC and BPSOS, FCEC’s “How to Prepare Fish Safely” video has been viewed by various Chinese and Vietnamese communities to drive the message home. At first, there were mixed feelings regarding the video as community members expressed their acquired preference for preparing fish whole. The “fish won’t taste good…if we take away all the good parts!” voiced a concerned Vietnamese community member.

However, after learning that safe fish properly filleted and then grilled, baked or broiled is a healthier and safer alternative for their family, community members were much more receptive and appreciative of the DNC message. At the workshops, many community members were eager to ask questions and were impressed overall by the research and effort EPA has put forth to protect the public’s health. Many HCC workshop participants even said they were “excited to pass on the message and pass on FCEC’s tip cards to family and friends that go fishing!” Within the last year, HCC and BPSOS have helped FCEC reach over 800 Chinese and Vietnamese community members through informative workshops and distributing tip cards.  HCC even placed an ad highlighting the DNC message in the Herald Monthly, which reaches 40,000 Chinese subscribers monthly.

FCEC would like to thank our partners HCC and BPSOS for another successful year of outreach and helping protect the health of these local communities!

What do you do when you have a big appetite for fish? Since nowadays most community members go fishing just for recreation, the market is typically the spot where folks go for their catch of the day. We developed a brochure in collaboration with our partners to widen outreach efforts to the local markets, since we did not have outreach materials tailored specifically for markets and restaurants. Designed to be a brochure and a poster, the main goal of developing the piece was to demonstrate the local fish contamination information in an easy and relatable way. In doing so, the brochure educates the market staff and many community members visiting these markets on a daily basis. The brochure includes information on health risks from eating white croaker which is one of the 5 local Do Not Consume fish, as well as provides clear instructions for market operators to buy only from approved sources and report illegal or suspicious vendors. Audiences have found the material to be easy to understand, engaging and simple. A local market employee was quoted saying the brochure was like “telling a story” as opposed to just plain information.

Currently, the brochure is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. It is distributed by Orange County Health Care Agency, Long Beach Bureau of Environmental Health and California Department of Fish and Wildlife in their market outreach efforts.

Have you seen the FCEC fish market brochure? Click here to check out a digital copy!

 

From July 22, 2012 to June 2, 2013 the FCEC Pier Outreach Evaluation team collected 670 surveys from anglers in the red zone extending from Seal Beach Pier to Santa Monica Pier. The objective was to investigate the differences between anglers who received outreach with the local fish contamination information from Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and Heal the Bay compared to anglers who did not receive outreach.

Although respondents across the entire sample reflected a high level of awareness (49% or higher) of Do Not Consume (DNC) fish, FCEC was particularly interested in how our outreach efforts, specifically, impacted the level of contamination awareness. After careful evaluation of the data, pier anglers who received outreach did in fact show a significantly greater awareness of fish contamination across the five DNC fish species compared to anglers who did not. For those who received outreach, the difference of greater awareness ranged from 13% – 19% per DNC fish species.

In addition to higher awareness levels to those who had received outreach, we wanted to evaluate the pier angler’s intentions with the DNC fish. Results for intentions to throw back DNC fish and to [not] give DNC fish to family or friends provided further evidence that anglers who did receive outreach were more likely to do the desired outcome compared to those who did not receive outreach. For the full report, click here.

Given the Pier Outreach Evaluation results, FCEC’s pier outreach has proved to be effective in protecting the public from health risks of consuming local contaminated fish. Take a look at FCEC’s Pier Outreach Team in action informing pier anglers of the local fish contamination throughout the year by taking a look at the photo slideshow below!

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:

In smaller markets across Southern California, confusion and trickery can sometimes result in the sale of contaminated white croaker to both merchants and consumers. Looking out for the community means not only going where we catch our fish, but also where we buy them. To prevent the sale of contaminated white croaker in local markets, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and local health inspectors visit hundreds of local vendors every year to inspect their products and ensure that the fish sold there are purchased from approved sources, such as licensed fish wholesalers, distributors or commercial fishermen. Since 2008, our FCEC Enforcement Program has not found contaminated white croaker sold in markets.

The LA County Public Health Department inspects 30 markets twice a year, Orange County 12 markets monthly, and Long Beach inspects 15 markets, 3 restaurants and 1 wholesaler 4 times a year. In addition to inspections, CDFG representatives and health inspectors use our FCEC materials to educate sellers on the local fish contamination issues that affect them and their customers.

See our Enforcement Program team at work in the images below!