Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Throw it back!

From the Daily News:

This fresh fish is foul - and yet it's ending up on dinner tables across the city.

Cash-strapped New Yorkers are ignoring health warnings not to fish for their meals in polluted local waters, where the catch of the day comes laced with cancer-causing PCBs and mercury.

"It's food for my family," explained Gabriel Gomez, 50, a struggling day laborer from Mexico found fishing recently off the 69th St. Pier in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Many desperate fellow fishermen are serving the toxin-laden fish up to five times a week, far more than state officials say is safe - especially for kids and women of child-bearing age.

From 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.

One more time from the Daily News:

In the past year, the number of sustenance fishermen at Canarsie Pier has nearly doubled, said longtime fisherman Kenneth Sampson.

On a cold, rainy day last week, about 50 fishermen were casting from the brick walkway around the pier's parking lot.

"They're fishing for dinner," said Sampson, 46, of Canarsie.

Sampson sells about five bluefish he catches at the pier each week, for $5 apiece. Finding customers is never a problem.

Though he feels bad about selling tainted fish, Sampson said he's having a hard time making ends meet. "I'm struggling too," he said. "You gotta do what you gotta do."


Anonymous said...

same thing with the community gardens.

you got to be nuts to eat anything from this tainted soil.

Anonymous said...

Shows you the economic cost of pollution and destruction. Another example of privatize the benefits, foist the costs on the public.

New York City's fisheries were among the finest in the land during the 19th century. Particularly valuable were our oysters. Imagine eating New York harvested shellfish now? Even worse than eating our stripers or blues.

God help us if we could sue General Electric for those PCBs dumped in the Hudson and still killing us today.

Erik Baard said...

Most community gardens have soil remediation or raised beds. Also, fruiting trees filter very effectively with so many layers of osmosis -- Boston urban orchard studies have been very useful.

As for local fish, I was always told to stick to shad, which swim in from the ocean and don't munch on their way to breed up north.

Anonymous said...

good point about the gardens. the toxic crap tends to lodge in the fruit and veggies.

asbestos, petroleum products, lead in paint, cinders from coal, shingles, all this is mixed up in the dirt.

FJF said...

The fact that people are pulling fish out of the East River to feed their families is nauseating. The place that we've come to as a city is so friggin sad.