Edie Falco calls for Brooklyn Bridge Park to stop ‘fishing clinics’
Native Brooklynite Edie Falco wants to put a stop to “fishing clinics” in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The “Sopranos” star, 56, penned a letter, exclusively obtained by Page Six, to Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation President Eric Landau on behalf of PETA requesting these clinics, in which children and adults hook fish, pull them from their aquatic home and toss them back into the water, often resulting in death from injuries or stress.
In the letter, Falco, who is an honorary PETA president, suggests replacing the “fishing clinics” with “trash fishing,” a fun activity that would have participants would help clean up bodies of water instead of pulling aquatic life from them.
Falco’s letter can be read in full below:
Dear Mr. Landau,
Although we’ve come so far in understanding animals for who they are, even today, fish seem alien to most of us. But science proves that they’re complex beings who deserve our admiration and respect. As a Brooklyn native and an honorary director of PETA, I urge you to stop holding “Fishing Clinics” at the Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Being hooked hurts, and what may seem like a “harmless” game is deadly serious to the fish. The evidence of their desire to live is obvious from the way they fight to survive at the end of a pole as they’re pulled from their natural environment. Handling fish to remove hooks can also cause damage. Fish who are handled by humans can suffer from the loss of their protective scale coating, making them vulnerable to disease, and one study found that the injuries caused to their mouths after they’re hooked can impair their ability to eat. Many fish who are caught and released later die from the injuries or stress.
In a letter to PETA, you stated that you aim to “foster respect of our waterways and the fish that live there,” but surely, the best way to show respect for other animals is to leave them in peace. Most children have a natural empathy for animals, and that kindness should be nurtured, not undermined by teaching kids that it’s OK to hook fish and yank them out of their natural environment for “fun.” There are so many ways to encourage young people to appreciate the outdoors without harming its native inhabitants. PETA’s youth division gave a Hero to Animals Award to an 11-year-old boy and his father who fish for trash, not sea animals, out of the Detroit River. “Trash fishing” could be an educational and helpful alternative to your clinics that would show children how to be good stewards of the environment.
May I hear that you’ll make this year’s clinics the last?
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