Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Jennifer Rehage

First Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Joel Heinen

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Committee Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Mahadev Bhat

Keywords

survey, exotic, mercury, angler, awareness, advisory, perspective, fish, everglades, canals

Date of Defense

11-15-2013

Abstract

The central Everglades serve as a Wildlife Management Area and as a Water Conservation Area for the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area. It is also home to over 22 nonnative freshwater fish species and carries restrictive fish consumption guidelines for Mercury. In my study, boat anglers and canal bank anglers were personally interviewed in the field, to research their awareness and perspectives of these potential environmental and health threats. The study found 78% of anglers were aware of the presence of nonnative fish species, but favored native fish species, and that 69% were aware of mercury advisories, but did not eat fewer fish because of them. Demographic characteristics were found to predict awareness, which differed significantly between angler types. Public awareness campaigns of nonnative fish impacts should target high school educated, canal bank anglers while mercury advisories should be directed at canal bank anglers, who typically keep and consume their catch more than boat anglers, to those who live more than 30 miles from the area, and all anglers under the age of 48.

Identifier

FI13121205