In most American cities, a man has the right to walk down the street, reach down the nearest sewer, and devour whatever fish me might find therein without being scolded by some government bureaucrat. Unfortunately, that’s no longer true in Newark, New Jersey, where health officials are now claiming sewer fish consumption is “dangerous.”

According to, the city’s overzealous Department of Health and Community Wellness condemned gutter-angling on Monday after seeing televised footage of Newarkers handling fish driven into storm drains by recent flooding.

“This is a dangerous practice and residents are urged to refrain from trapping, catching, and eating any fish caught on the streets,” said department director Dr. Hanaa Hamdi. “We don’t have any certainty what the danger is. But it is a dangerous practice.”

Hmm, “we don’t know what the danger is, but it’s dangerous.” Sound familiar?

Most damningly, Hamdi admitted to WNBC that there had been no reports of people actually eating the fish. And given the blatantly anti-sewer fish autocracy they’re living under, who can blame them?

[Image via WABC-TV//h/t Death and Taxes]