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Monday, July 6, 2009

Fishing The East River From Roosevelt Island - Not Healthy To Eat But No Legible Warning Signs

Image of Big Fish Caught on Roosevelt Island From Yfrog

We see them all the time - people fishing at Lighthouse and Southpoint Park as well as other areas of Roosevelt Island - and wonder do people really eat the fish they catch from the East River?

Image from Kingfal

The Daily News reports that people are eating the fish they catch from the East River, more so now with the poor economy, and, surprise, it is not wise to do so. According to the Daily News:
... Want to know how much fish is safe to eat from polluted local waters? Good luck.
The Daily News, which reported on Sunday that the plunging economy has forced some New Yorkers to eat fish from polluted local waters, found crucial state health advisories missing from most fishing spots and clinics where officials claim they are available.

"It's shocking," said Hunter College public health expert Jack Caravanos. He wants officials to make sure people know the dangers of cancer-causing PCBs and mercury in local fish.

"The people who need to know about these warnings are not getting the message."...
The Daily News randomly checked several fishing areas for warning signs and found:
... The only sign The News found is at Lighthouse Park on Roosevelt Island - but it is so rusted and weather-beaten it is almost illegible.

"Nobody can read that sign," said angler Rafeal Knipping, 59, who was fishing near the barely decipherable warning.

"They need a big sign advertising the health concerns," he said. "Bring me a poster and I'll paint a sign."
Roosevelt Island Illegible Fishing Advisory Sign From Daily News

Will legible warning signs give people reason to pause before eating fish caught in the river? According to this 2008 story from NY 1 about a Roosevelt Island fisherman:
...Javier Garces comes in from Woodside Queens, looking for striped bass and bluefish.

“It’s a good place to fish,” says Garces. “I catch big fish here.”

And, says Garces, the fish are good enough to eat....


Anonymous said...

I remember seeing posters about what locally fished fish is edible at my wife's doctor's office when she was pregnant. I assume the NYC DOH is the best source for information. I found this quote :

The New York State Department of Health says women of childbearing age and children under 15 shouldn't eat fish containing PCBs. Everybody else can safely eat a half pound a week caught in New York City waters.


Thanks for the additional information.

I still wouldn't eat the East River Fish. Would you?

Anonymous said...

speaking of fishing in the park, have you seen the new signs at lighthouse?

RI 360 said...

Sewell Chan on City Room has alist of parks slated to get updated signs and Roosevelt Island is not one of the parks listed. Crazy.