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Update August 21, 2013- Despite the PEP Captain claiming that they were enforcing rules to prevent the fishermen from setting up disgusting mini-fisheries and bait shops on the esplanade we snapped these photos 2o yards from the PEP office. Note the illegally parked powered bike and fish guts in bags.
August 16, 2013- By Steven E. Greer
Viewers have sent in comments concerned about the northward migration of the fishermen on the esplanade. They used to aggregate only south of the South Cove, but now are all the way up by Rector Place. Captain of the parks patrol, Ed Falcon, explained, “There is no law against it, but we are working with them to make sure they do not litter or cast their hooks near pedestrians.”
Some viewers have speculated that the fisherman are not recreational fishermen at all, but rather catching fish to sell in markets in Chinatown. That would make their activity illegal.
The fishing rods also impede the path of bikers and joggers. Who would be liable if an accident occurred?
However, the opposition to the fishing is mostly rooted in the unsightly bloody bait and mess made on the esplanade. BatteryPark.TV caught these scenes, below, of a shark being stomped to death by a fisherman, to the horror of onlookers.
Hopefully one of the fishermen will fall into the river and more awareness from PEP will result. But unfortunately, probably won’t since PEP don’t really pay attention or execute enforcement of any rules they get paid to enforce.
Sad but a fact.
And the fish they do catch, where do you think they go? (Just a word of caution buying fish at the markets on Canal street).
The sight of the fisherman and their plastic bags and equipment on the esplanade is extremely off-putting – a real eyesore. Oftentimes, they fall asleep on the pavement and park benches for hours. It is absolutely horrifying that they stomped that shark to death. Fishing in Battery Park City should be made illegal ASAP especially as it certainly doesn’t seem like most of the fisherman are there for recreational purposes, but rather to supply Chinatown restaurants.
First, true, according to a very old law, legally, they can fish anywhere in Manhattan–but that law was written before BPC existed, before there were any residential buildings along the shore line.
So why are they in Battery Park City? Anyone who has fished will tell you that this is not a good fishing place. There are more fish in other places, closer to where they live or even in Battery Park–which, unlike our area, is not residential. And why at the very places and hours where there are the most tourists and residents, the places we most enjoy, the curve at the foot of Wagner Park, the Esplanade at the South Cove, the foot of W. Thames, Rector, and now Albany? What gives them the right to take up eight to ten feet of public space, our space, at the very hours when the residents are most likely to want to enjoy their neighborhood and the tourists come for their photo-ops?
Secondly, the mess: during the day, the pedestals of the lighting along the river and the pavers had the remains of bait, fish guts, attracting insects, birds, and odors–no one to clean up or even care. They need to be cited for appropriating public space and for littering–if we had any enforcement of any laws in Battery Park City.
Third, they are a hazard threatening the safety of pedestrians, runners, bikers, children, the elderly, just people wanting to take photographs of the sunset. The fishers appropriate benches, railings, sidewalks, large areas with multiple unattended poles sticking out, equipment, bait, coolers, vehicles, and, yes, carelessly casting their hooks–about which the invisible PEP offices riding by in their golf carts are supposed to be concerned.
I have written to both BPCA and to PEP, but no answer. Why would we have to write at all? Why do you have to publish our complaints? The PEP officers are supposed to see what is going on, what endangers the public and compromises the neighborhood. Doesn’t any member of the BPCA or even the Community Board ever walk along the promenade? Do they not see what is happening? BPC has never been more visible. We need responsible people to keep it safe and clean.
BPC did at one time (and may still) have a regulation limiting fishing to recreational (i.e., one person, one pole, catch and release) That was before the area began this shocking deterioration–when we had PEP offices that walked, talked, enforced rules, even community police officers, more than one, whose names we knew and who knew us. Now that the memorial has brought us so many more visitors, shouldn’t there be more protection, more concern for safety and comfort, more community policing, a cleaner environment, more regulation against people like the fishermen or the skate boarders who are actively destroying a neighborhood they don’t live in?
The “fishermen,” if that is what they are, are definitely not recreational. They take up eight to ten feet of space with up to seven unattended pols and, to be truthful, not many fish.
There has to designated areas for this activity…unreal. .always something. ..
Can we do anything about this? Call 311? These people also cast their lines which they’re not supposed to do.
I was running the other morning and there were fish guts all over the place. A regular rat buffet. Unreal that this is allowed.
I was on Pier 25 Sunday the 25th and a fisherman had four lines going there. Wow -stomping a shark to death. I would have called the ASPCA, that is horrible.
PEP says I need a permit (and pay a hefty fee) to have a kid’s birthday party in the park. But no permit needed if we all got together to fish with 5 rods each. Next time we have a birthday party, I’ll tell PEP we’re just fishing.
West Thames grass field is best place for kids birthday parties, done all the time, no permit
I am glad that there finally is some ‘noise’ about this issue. Isn’t there a definition as to what constitutes LEGALLY, commercial fishing? I would think that 4 or 5 fishing rods would meet that definition but I am not a lawyer.
I have written to the parks authority attaching pictures of the mess and also to the PEP. I have also stopped and talked to the PEP about it. I am not defending the PEP, but of course after the community’s shenanigans regarding their enforcement of dog issues, is it any wonder that they will err on the side of their own safety?
Parents beware, the same flies that sit on the mess will also land on your kids faces.
I would think this item should be on the community board’s agenda as it seriously impedes our enjoyment of the parks. I attended the last community board meeting early September (my first) and could not believe the ineffective way the meeting was run and the time allocations for each subject.