The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Fish Contamination Education Collaborative celebrated Fisherman Appreciation Day with local fisherman and their families and environmental groups on the Venice Pier Saturday, July 31.

The free event, which included lunch provided by James’ Beach restaurant and Sidewalk Café in Venice, offered fishermen tips on how to string their tackle to target certain fish, how to avoid consumption of five fish species which have been contaminated by the Palos Verdes Shelf Superfund Site, as well as prize giveaways.

“It is the people eating the fish that they catch on the piers that face the greatest risk from the health effects of DDT and PCB contaminated fish, especially those who are feeding their children and families,” EPA Remedial Project Manager Sharon Lin said. “Getting this crucial audience all together in one place at one time actively engaging with our message is a monumental taskÖand we did it this Saturday.”

Fisherman Appreciation Day brought together groups such as the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, Seafood for the Future and Heal the Bay, and Larry Fukuhara of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

The education collaborative also made sure to stress that fish contamination has long-term effects, one of the group’s primary messages.

Through the presentations, prizes, games, and information offered by these groups, Fisherman Appreciation Day was able to address one of the biggest complications to driving the FCEC message home with fishermen:

“Unlike other contamination sicknesses which surface very quickly, this type of contamination can take years to manifest,” Lin noted.