SUBSISTENCE PIER FISHING AND FOOD INSECURITY IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY
Rita Kirkpatrick, Ana Pitchon.
California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA.
Subsistence living is a term associated with indigenous Tribes as an integral part of both cultural and physical survival. In urban Los Angeles County, there are examples of subsistence living through practices like the consumption of pier-caught fish, guerilla gardening, and community gardens despite possible knowledge of and exposure to toxins found in the water and soil. There is extensive literature regarding the types of toxins, like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), that are found in Los Angeles County’s water and soil, associated health risks from exposure to these toxins, and community efforts on a city and statewide level to educate the public regarding the risks of consumption. This research investigates the issue of continual consumption of toxic food despite knowledge of the possible health risks associated from toxin exposure and its link to food security. The study will focus specifically on pier fishers and data will be collected from Belmont Shore Pier in Long Beach, California, and Redondo Pier in Redondo Beach, California. Using extensive literature review and specific information from California’s and Los Angeles County’s policies and demographics on food assistance and the questionnaire from the EPA’s Survey on Recreational and Subsistence Fishing in Southern California Coastal Waters, a questionnaire and interview will be developed to create an assessment of food security among the pier fishers at the 2 specified piers. The results will add to the limited research regarding food security and pier fishing in Los Angeles County and provide a base for future research with a wider sample area.