Risk Analysis

Development of a Public Participation and Communication Protocol for Establishing Fish Consumption Advisories

Journal Article

Enabling people to make an informed choice on whether to change consumption behavior is ultimately the objective of any fish consumption advisory. This will occur only if people are aware of the advisory, know and understand the advisory information, and believe the information to be true. Interactive, meaningful communication and the opportunity to participate in the process to develop and review advisories are key to achieving these attributes. A case study was undertaken in a community in Alberta, Canada (where an existing advisory was under consideration for review) to determine public awareness, knowledge, compliance, communication effectiveness, information needs, and desire for involvement related to the advisory. The information obtained from this case study was used to develop 14 guiding principles as a foundation for the incorporation of public participation and risk communication into the process of developing and reviewing fish consumption advisories.

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