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01.12.2014 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2014

Journal of Community Health 6/2014

A Qualitative Exploration of Fishing and Fish Consumption in the Gullah/Geechee Culture

Journal of Community Health > Ausgabe 6/2014
Jamelle H. Ellis, Daniela B. Friedman, Robin Puett, Geoffrey I. Scott, Dwayne E. Porter


The Gullah/Geechee (G/G) heritage is rooted in a culture largely dependent on fish and seafood as a primary food source. Research suggests that African-American (AA) fishers in the Southeastern US consume larger amounts of fish, potentially exposing them to higher environmental contaminant levels. This in-depth study was conducted to explore G/G and AA Sea Island attitudes, perceptions, and cultural beliefs about fishing in one urban and two rural South Carolina coastal counties. Results indicated that study participants in rural counties had slightly different perspectives of fishing (e.g. fishing as an essential dietary supplement) than in urban counties where fishing was viewed more as relaxation. Major misperceptions existed in all counties between fish consumption advisories related to pollution versus harvesting restrictions associated with fishing regulations. Providing clear, culturally tailored health messages regarding fish advisories will promote more informed choices about fish consumption that will minimize potential exposures to environmental pollutants.

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