Locals fishing in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal will soon see some friendly reminders to not eat what they catch in the toxic waterway, Brooklyn Paper reported Tuesday.
The Gowanus Community Advisory Group recently wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency urging the federal department to put warning signs written in English and Spanish at fishing hot spots along the nearly two-mile canal.
“We ask that such warnings be placed in reasonably likely fishing locations and at each public-access location where people can easily make physical contact with the canal,” the CAG wrote.
The signs, which will also feature graphics to inform the public of the possible dangers in eating anything caught in the Gowanus Canal, will list more than a dozen fish and shellfish that reportedly could be caught by anglers.
Since 2009, the canal has been a Superfund, a federal initiative that handles cleaning up contaminated sites, “so the EPA has jurisdiction to produce signs, which is an easier process than going through state agencies” that would normally handle fish consumption regulations, Christos Tsiamis, EPA project manager, told Brooklyn Paper.
According to drafts obtained by the outlet, the signs will also warn fishers of the chemicals the fish and shellfish could contain that would be dangerous for people, especially women and children, to eat.
One caution highlighted said that males older than 15 and women older than 50 could safely eat up to six blue crabs a week, but women under 50, especially those who are carrying or may carry a child, and children under age 15 should not eat any.
A $25 state permit and signing up for the state’s fishing is required for anglers 16 and older, but those younger than 15 can fish for free along the Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn Paper reported.
Dredging of the canal was sidelined in January due to equipment issues, but restarted on March 22, Tsiamis said.
Brooklyn Paper also reported that a man’s decomposed body was recovered from the Gowanus Canal near Nevis Street. The man has not been identified, nor has a cause of death been determined yet.