Video shows man catching shark in New York’s Hudson River


New Yorkers generally associate the Hudson River with muddy, greenish-brown water rather than a vibrant habitat for many aquatic organisms (or maybe you remember Sully landing there, the Miracle on the Hudson). However, in a new video published on Reddit, you can see a man holding a smooth dogfish, which he just caught fishing off a pier there. The comments below the video immediately sparked a discussion about the fisherman’s inhumane treatment of the fish, as the fisherman encourages passers-by to touch, even pet, the unique scales covering the fish. Read on to learn more about what happened next.


Most commentators expressed hope that the fish had returned to the water. “Seriously, this thing had been out of the water upside down for too long, the poor thing was probably freaking out, unable to breathe, and people were just running their hands up and down,” said was one of the comments. Another said: “It’s so beyond silly and cruel.” “I want to see a man being held underwater and all the other sea animals gathered around to watch the man upside down gasping for air,” said another. Keep reading to learn more and watch the video.

A spiny dogfish patrolling the cold waters of Puget Sound

In the waters around New York, you can encounter many species of sharks. They differ in size, from 4 feet, like the fruit bat sharks, up to 40 feet, like the basking shark. The characteristics of sharks also vary greatly, as does their diet or the way they hunt. These differences affect the type of environment in which they choose to live. For more information on shark safety and fishing, visit coastal sharks.

Dolphin Tour in Clearwater Florida
Rachel Hansen/Shutterstock

However, the Coast Guard states that on their patrols dolphins are much more common than sharks. DEC Environmental Conservation Officer Lt. Sean Reilly told Fox 5 “When I started 20 years ago, we saw a dolphin on rare occasions.” In his opinion, “Now every time we go into the ocean, we seem to see multiple pods of dolphins.” “Most sharks are seen by people catching them because they aren’t on the surface most of the time,” he adds.

Shark River Bar

Prohibited shark species found in New York State water tanks include Sandbar (“Brown”), Dusky, and Sand Tiger sharks. Large sharks (other than spiny dogfish) caught off New York shores are generally prohibited shark species. For a complete list of all prohibited shark species, see Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations.

Lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus clings to a strand of seaweed.

“Estuaries are incredibly diverse ecosystems, second only to rainforests. There are 70 different species that inhabit the Hudson,” Tina Walsh of the Hudson River Park River Project told NBC New York. The striped seahorse is one of the most unexpected individuals. “A lot of times you think of a seahorse rather than a tropical fish, but actually the lion seahorse is a North Atlantic species,” Walsh said. The other essential species living in the Huston are oysters. The Hudson River is now home to over 11 million newly deposited oysters. The tidal wetlands of the Hudson River also provide important habitat for diamondback terrapins, fiddler crabs, rails and killifish, river otters, turtles, bald eagles and other raptors, marsh wrens and herons, crayfish and dragonflies and blackbirds.

Two fishermen fish in the Hudson River from the pier in front of Manhattan Skyline

Before you go shark fishing on the Hudson River, remember that all New York anglers must request and carry the toll Recreational Sea Fishing Registry. To fish for sharks, tuna, billfish and swordfish in federal waters, anglers must apply for federal authorization. Permit for highly migratory species (HMS). For more specific information on the rules associated with the HMS permit, please see the HMS Compliance Guide for Recreational Fishing.

Panorama of the Hudson River Valley in autumn with colorful mountain and bridge over the Hudson River.

The Hudson River Park River Project conducts environmental education, scientific research, and urban habitat improvement activities to educate New Yorkers about the ecological importance of the 400-acre estuarine park sanctuary. The goal of the project is to protect and restore the ecosystem of the Hudson River Waterway. As the Hudson River Park serves as an important habitat as well as temporary residence for many fish, birds, crustaceans, and insects, monitoring how these species use the Hudson River provides valuable information about these populations.


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