Fish Consumption Advisories and Urban Food Environments

Authors: Dustin Robertson*, Tulane University
Topics: Food Systems, Geography and Urban Health, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Fish consumption advisories, fishing, urban development, GIS, New Orleans, Tampa
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


There is growing recognition in urban food research of the role of foraging and fishing as a supplement to the main diet. Fishing is classified as a recreational activity in the United States despite the prevalence of fishers consuming their catch or sharing it with friends or family for consumption. We posit that urban fishing is shaped by the local neighborhood environment, urban planning priorities that affect access to blue spaces (especially in coastal cities), and policies around the safe consumption of specific kinds of fish.
We present specific findings from a larger study examining relationships between fish consumption advisories, urban planning around fishing, and compounded vulnerabilities for poor, immigrant, or racial minority individuals who may rely more heavily on fishing for recreation and subsistence than other populations, in two US Gulf Coast cities.
We first present results of a multiple regression analysis that demonstrates how neighborhood demographic characteristics are associated with fishing levels in certain areas, with spatial visualization through GIS. We also present results of a policy analysis that shows how local planning priorities do not sufficiently account for fishing as a subsistence activity. We conclude with a discussion of how these neighborhood-level factors, alongside urban planning priorities, may shape access to fishing activities through the built environment, and present some pathways for future research to better account for human-environment relations that affect food access.

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