Are we reaching the target audience? Evaluation of a fish fact sheet

J. Burger et L. Waishwell, Are we reaching the target audience? Evaluation of a fish fact sheet, SCI TOTAL E, 277(1-3), 2001, pp. 77-86
Citations number
Categorie Soggetti
Journal title
ISSN journal
0048-9697 → ACNP
Year of publication
77 - 86
SICI code
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, over 16% of freshwater lakes and 7% of the rivers are under some sort of fish consumption advisor y because of the presence of toxic chemicals. There is considerable interes t in the issuing of information, advisories, and fact sheets concerning the consumption of wild-caught fish from contaminated waters, and in the actua l consumption patterns of subsistence and recreational anglers. Despite the large number of consumption advisories issued by state agencies, there is little information on how these advisories, or other forms of risk communic ation, are perceived by target audiences, notably fishermen and women of ch ild-bearing age. The states of South Carolina and Georgia issue consumption advisories for fish from the Savannah River, among other sites. To gain a greater insight into the perception of anglers about a supplemental fish fa ct sheet jointly developed by South Carolina, Georgia, federal agencies, an d the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, we int erviewed fisherman along the Savannah River. The objectives were to determi ne: (1) whether they had previously read the Fish Fact Sheet or had heard a bout the consumption advisories; (2) what major message they obtained from the sheet; (3) who they felt the fact sheet was aimed at, and who should ge t the Fish Fact Sheet; (4) who should be concerned about health risks from consuming the fish; and (5) the best method of disseminating such informati on. We interviewed 92 fishermen (37% black, 62% white) during the fishing s eason of 1999. Half had heard some information about consumption advisories , mainly from the media (64%). The study concluded that there were no ethni c differences in whether they had heard about the advisories, understood th e major message of the fact sheet, felt they could reduce their risk from c onsuming the fish, or felt that it made a difference which agency issued th e fact sheet. There were significant ethnic differences in the ways people thought the risk from eating fish could be reduced. sources of information about the risks from consuming fish, and what other information they would like about the risks associated with contaminated fish. (C) 2001 Elsevier S cience B.V. All rights reserved.