Yesterday the Daily News told us about the jolly, impoverished fishermen who cast for possibly poisonous bluefish, bass and flounder off the piers of the outer boroughs, for eating and sometimes for distribution to beggars (“They come here with a plastic bag and hope that people put a fish in it”). Never let it be said that the press does not impact public policy and posturing. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today called for updated federal guidelines on fresh-caught fish. “New Yorkers must be warned about the dangers of consuming fish caught in New York City’s rivers,” said Schumer; “It is a moral failure that New York families are turning to local waterways for food during this economic recession and are not being properly warned about the health risk,” said Gillibrand.
A Staten Island Advance commenter suggests an alternate warning for piers in the Forgotten Borough: “Beware of the smelly, ignorant, rude, disgusting russians attempting to fish here. they will eat your bait when your not looking. you will also be able to smell their b.o. despite being outdoors on the ocean with the wind blowing.” Obviously the topic has touched a nerve. Photo (cc) ZeroOne.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 7, 2009