Project Description

Cultural, economic, and public health determinants of social vulnerability to seafood contaminants in an urban embayment in Southern California

People from coastal urban centers around the world harvest and consume seafood from local embayments despite growing recognition that this seafood contains chemical and biological contaminants that pose human health risks. People who harvest despite known risks include those in extreme poverty who subsistence fish, but recent evidence also reveals that many fish consumers live above established poverty lines.

This project will contribute to a better understanding of the risks associated with self-harvested seafood in San Diego Bay and beyond. In particular, this project will: Establish a baseline assessment of shellfish availability, risk and consumption patterns for San Diego Bay that is similar to, but scaled-down from, the intensive finfish consumption assessments that exist for San Diego Bay; and second, improve our understanding of the cultural worlds of anglers who were identified in previous finfish consumption studies as continuing to fish despite known health risks and economic need.

The researchers will work with entities associated with the San Diego Bay and other interested parties to disseminate and translate the research for use with their public outreach, environmental management, and space planning efforts for the bay.