Diana Blasdel and her husband Miguel were walking along the Belt Parkway waterfront, south of the 92nd Street pedestrian bridge, with their dog Remy on Thursday, May 31, when Diana spied a unique looking fish.
What Diana saw was an Atlantic Sturgeon, one of the oldest species of fish in the world according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fishery. The fish can grow up to 14 feet long and weigh 800 pounds.
While the size of the fish Diana saw is unclear, it still shocked her to her core.
“I had absolutely no idea what it was! It didn’t really look like a fish to me,” Diana said. “It had armored plates that looked more like a dinosaur than a fish, and the rest of its body looked like tough leather rather than scales.”
Diana called in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). According to Diana, who posted her findings in the Facebook group “The One and Only Bay Ridge, Brooklyn,” DEC told her that reports of sightings of the Atlantic Sturgeon have increased over the last number of weeks as they are trying to move upstream on the Hudson River.
Additionally, DEC said that many of these fishes are being killed by boats, most recently, near Hoboken and Staten Island. Other threats to the species, which can live as long as 60 years, include being caught by accident by fishermen angling for other catch, as well as degradation of their habitat through human interference and habitat impediments such as locks and dams.