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On August 28, 2021, I happened across a sign at the end of a pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The sign warned people about the dangers of consuming the freshest fish and eels from Red Hook’s waters.

A public health advisory in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in New York City, warning people about the dangers of eating fish and eels caught in New York City waters.

There is quite a bit going on in this warning.

Pregnant women, women of childbearing age, and children under 15 years old should not eat fish or eels caught in these waters.

This warning excludes a large percentage of the population from enjoying the best that Red Hook’s waters have to offer. The warning caught my attention by not only noting that pregnant women should not eat Red Hook fish and eels, but also all women of childbearing age. I have revealed that I am not under the age of 15. Moreover, I am not a woman. But were one to offer me a fish caught in Red Hook with the above warning, I would most likely have to decline to partake in the delicacy despite not being in the very large risk group.

Moreover, it appears that some fish and eels in Red Hook’s water are not safe for anyone to eat:

Some fish caught in New York City waters may be harmful to eat.

While I have little interest in fishing, I do like fish. But do I like fish enough to call a hotline to ask for guidance on whether a particular fish is amenable to human consumption? That sounds troublesome.

I have no plans to go fishing in Red Hook or anywhere else in New York City on account of the fact that I am not interested in fishing. But were I to catch a fish in Red Hook or anywhere else in New York City due to some unforeseen circumstances, I might just let the poor guy off the hook – regardless of whether he or she looked tasty on the surface.