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San Diego Bay Fish Consumption Study (Dec. 2017 rev.)

  • County of Los Angeles
  • Moore Institute for Plastic Pollution Research

Abstract and Figures

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region considers San Diego Bay one of the most important and valuable resources in the Southern California region. The bay provides multiple beneficial uses for both human use and natural services including habitat for fish and wildlife, extensive commercial and industrial economic benefits, and recreational opportunities to residents and visitors. It is imperative to protect its chemical, physical, and biological integrity so the many benefits of San Diego Bay may be enjoyed by future generations. This study was designed to interview a representative sample of anglers fishing in San Diego Bay from May 1, 2015 through April 30, 2016. We conducted field interviews of anglers at common fishing locations (boat landings, piers, and shoreline locations) surrounding the bay. The study design accounted for both geographically and culturally relevant site selection to ensure adequate coverage of all areas of the bay. Our objective was to provide consumption data specifically for fin fish consumed from San Diego Bay and to provide a basis for developing locally relevant recommendations. Additionally, the findings of this study provide valuable information for improving outreach and education to specific, higher risk segments of the fishing population and for guiding contaminant studies to monitor fish that people consume. In developing this study of fishing activity and consumption in San Diego Bay.
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Contaminated fish in Santa Monica Bay, California, have raised concerns about health risks from local seafood consumption. In preparation for a new health risk analysis, a field study was undertaken to determine local angler consumption rates, consumption characteristics, and angler catch. During 1991-92, biologists interviewed 1,244 anglers on piers, party boats, private boats, and beaches; 555 provided consumption-rate estimates. In contrast to previous studies, non-English as well as English speaking anglers were interviewed. The median seafood consumption rate of 21 g/day for local anglers was less than the national average. Consumption-rate distributions were highly skewed, upper-decile consumption rates being several times higher than median rates. Upper-decile consumption rates were more useful than median rates in delineating demographic and species-specific differences in consumption rates. Angler consumption rates of potentially contaminated species and angler awareness of health risks varied by ethnic group; therefore communication of health risks should target habits and languages of high-risk anglers.