The NC Department of Health and Human Services recently issued new fish consumption advisories for the Cape Fear River based on concerns of PFAS levels found in specific fish species. These advisories introduce restrictive guidelines for consuming commonly caught fish like catfish and largemouth bass, particularly for higher risk groups including children and pregnant people and those nursing.
Recent coverage in NC Newsline and NC Health News has detailed these new advisories and their impacts on those who depend on these fish species for a food source and for those who value fishing and eating fish as a cultural practice. One piece references the 2022 CEC report summarizing our research in the region, and the other references the CEC’s Stop, Check, and Enjoy! campaign, and quotes our dedicated community partner Veronica Carter.
Since 2016, the Community Engagement Core has worked with community partners in the lower Cape Fear River Basin to increase knowledge of current fish consumption advisories and to encourage safer choices when preparing and eating fish caught from the river. This coalition of community partners conducted research on fish consumption patterns and the most effective messaging and channels of communication to inform and elicit safer choices. The results were then used to inform the development of culturally appropriate materials and a targeted outreach campaign – Stop, Check, Enjoy!