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Koch Urges Boycott of Striped Bass, Offers Recipies for Other Fish

April 4, 1985

NEW YORK (AP) _ Mayor Edward I. Koch on Thursday urged New Yorkers not to eat striped bass because it might be contaminated with toxic PCBs, then offered his recipes for other fish as a replacement.

The mayor said his health commissioner, Dr. David Sencer, had concluded that the city should not ban the sale of striped bass until the federal government begins regulating the interstate transportation of fish and the state does more extensive testing for PCBs in striped bass.

″I’m asking people in this city to think, not twice, but four times before you order striped bass,″ Koch said. ″There are other fish in the sea. I can tell you of wonderful fish, for example, grouper.″

″It tastes like lobster.

Koch also suggested salmon, ″Norwegian salmon in particular,″ as a substitute for striped bass mavens.

″If you have it sauteed with a little garlic, you don’t have the aroma of garlic, but you have the flavor, and you have no garlic aftertaste,″ Koch said. ″So if there are people looking to substitute for striped bass, send me a note and I will send you recipes.″

Gov. Mario Cuomo on Sunday ordered a ban on commercial fishing for striped bass off western Long Island and in New York Harbor, but allowed the eastern shore of Long Island, which accounts for 90 percent of the commercial catch of striped bass, to remain open.

Two months ago, state Health Commissioner Dr. David Axelrod said striped bass taken from New York waters ″consistently and significantly″ had levels of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, exceeding the federal limit of 2 parts per million. The substance is believed to be a possible cancer-causing agent.

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