Friday, May 30, 2008

Striped Bass, PCBs, General Electric, Unsafe Fish, the Maritime Aquarium

If I had more time and patience, and lived closer to the shore, maybe I'd learn how to fish. One of the guys who works at our local grocery store caught an enormous stiped bass the other day and was selling fillets from the fish counter. We bought one. It was good. I'd love to be able to go to the beach, cast into the surf, and catch a striper or a bluefish, or even a fluke, assuming you can catch fluke from the beach.

Now would be a good time to try it. Blogs (like this one) and newspaper fishing columns are reporting that things are picking up. This from Newsday:

The City Island open boat, Island Current, has used bunker chunks to hammer bass to 48 pounds, along with tons of bluefish, halfway between Manhasset Bay and Rye Beach. Mark Gurleski, a mate with R & G Charters in Port Washington, confirmed the hot bass action. His trips have seen several stripers in the 25- to 30-pound class caught each day in 25 feet of water between Hempstead and Manhasset harbors.

Aside from the over-writing (why "hammer" bass? "Catch" or "hook" are perfectly good words), that sounds pretty good to me.

Of course both the New York and Connecticut Health Departments have permanent health advisories warning women of childbearing years, and children, to eat no striped bass -- none -- because of PCBs.

Most of the PCB problem, of course, was caused by General Electric, which dumped enormous amounts of the compound into the Hudson and Housatonic Rivers.

Which brings me to news about a forum about the future of Long Island Sound, being held on Sunday at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk. One of the panelists will be General Electric environmental counsel Mark Stoler (click here).

I wonder if any of the Maritime Aquarium people who invited him will have the guts to remind him that 30-plus years after his company stopped dumping PCBs into our rivers, our kids still are advised not to eat fresh fish from Long Island Sound.

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