Untangling the Line: Constraints to Fishing Participation in Communities of Color

Author: 
Schroeder, S.A., Nemeth, M.L., Sigurdson, R.E. and Walsh, R.J.
Date: 
2008
Journal: 
American Fisheries Society Symposium 67, 2008, 1-15
Publisher: 
American Fisheries Society

In urban environments, participation in angling and other outdoor recreation activities has been declining. A range of factors including an aging populace, immigration, and busy lifestyles, may contribute to decreased angling participation in these urban centers. During the last 30 years the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota (USA) metropolitan area has had growing populations of African Americans, Asians, Chicano/Latinos, and individuals from other communities of color. It is important to understand how changing demographics may affect urban angling participation. We contracted African American, Chicano/Latino, and American Indian focus group moderators to conduct three focus groups in each community. These focus groups, which addressed the perceived benefits of, constraints to, and interest in angling, were conducted in 2006. Results suggest that individuals from these communities perceive fishing to provide benefits similar to those reported in research with White respondents. However, individuals from these communities of color face unique constraints to their fishing participation. Selective law enforcement and discriminatory behavior were mentioned as constraints to participation in all groups. Several groups said safety concerns related to lack of swimming ability constrained participation. Language barriers were identified as a problem for Chicano/Latino individuals. Focus group participants provided valuable suggestions for improving communication and promoting angling participation within their communities. We suggest that urban fisheries managers simplify communications, employ new media channels, confront discriminatory enforcement practices, and develop innovative educational programs to address the unique constraints to fishing faced by people of color.

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