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Environmental Health Insights

Quantifying the Seafood Consumption Patterns of Recreational Anglers in Charleston and Berkeley Counties, South Carolina

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Environmental Health Insights 2016:10 201-210

Original Research

Published on 16 Nov 2016

DOI: 10.4137/EHI.S40668


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Abstract

This study was designed to provide self-reported data on the frequency of fish consumption and shellfish consumption in Charleston and Berkeley (CB) counties, South Carolina. While commercial fishing and recreational fishing have played an important role in the culture and history of the area, information on the specific patterns of consumption by recreational anglers has been previously unavailable. The pilot data presented here will help determine the feasibility of a large-scale survey of seafood consumption in coastal South Carolina. The study's sampling frame consisted of CB county anglers who had purchased a recreational saltwater fishing license for the 2005/2006 year with oversampling in North Charleston. Survey recipients were asked to provide information on fish consumption and shellfish consumption, general angling habits, perception of water and fishing quality, and demographics. Of the 2500 individuals who were sent questionnaires, about one-fourth responded. Respondents were generally white, middle, or upper class and highly educated. The majority fished by boat and most often ate flounder, spotted sea trout, and red drum. Most respondents ate shrimp several times a month and also supplemented their recreational catch with seafood purchased from grocery stores, markets, and restaurants. Almost all respondents had eaten some seafood in the last year, and more than one-fourth ate seafood twice a week or more. Most anglers responded positively about the area's fishing and water qualities, but many referred to areas where they would hesitate to eat their catch. Further research may need to incorporate direct distribution of surveys to underrepresented groups and financial incentives to encompass a more diverse population of anglers.



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