Eating things found in the East River is inadvisable, for one because raw sewage drains into it, but also because the daily catch may take a ghastly form. But the newest group to insist on fishing in its hazardous waters doesn’t care: According to neighborhood paper City Town, there’s a growing number of people on the East Harlem portion of the East River Promenade fishing for striped bass, bluefish, and perch — apparently in order to go “organic” and avoid farmed fish.
“Personally I like organic stuff, so I prefer fresh fish,” one man explained. “I don’t eat farmed fish.” Another called the bass he catches “the freshest fish in New York City,” which still seems insignificant in light of signs along the river that read: “Warning: Fish contaminated. Do not eat.” The state’s Department of Health also advises New Yorkers to do their best not to eat the stuff, but even an ER visit won’t make these people quit: One woman said her ex-husband “broke out in a rash all over his body after eating fish from Classon Point.”