Consumption guidelines are a common way of improving conscious consumption behaviors in areas where game fish are known to contain contaminants. However, guideline information can be difficult to distribute, and effectiveness difficult to measure. To increase the distribution and effectiveness of guideline information for the Detroit River, an educational campaign was launched in 2010, which included distribution of pamphlets with consumption information, posting of permanent signs at popular fishing locations, and hiring River Walkers to personally communicate with anglers. In 2013 and 2015, we conducted in-person surveys of active shoreline anglers to determine the effectiveness of education and outreach efforts. Results from the survey indicated that 55% of anglers were aware of the guidelines in 2013, and by 2015 36% had communicated the information to family or friends. However, anglers were often unwilling to reduce consumption of popular game species, despite high contaminant levels. Encouragingly, black anglers were most likely to supplement their diet with species lower in contaminants. Our results suggest that utilizing multiple educational strategies including reaching out directly to individual anglers may improve conscious consumption behavior among the targeted population, providing a template for educational campaigns to successfully target vulnerable populations.
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