…What millions of city and suburban folks thought just disappeared down their toilets actually wound up in nets. Swede Lovgren showed up at public meetings, toting samples in what fishermen and scientists began calling “black mayonnaise jars.”
“Swede had it analyzed and it was mostly human hair and Kotex fibers. If you weren’t steaming home with the net backward to clean it out, you were powerwashing it back at the dock,” Lovgren says. …
(From Clearing the Channels a profile of Jim Lovgren, Brick, NJ, by Kirk Moore in the National Fisherman, May 2006, page 23.)
Lovgren is talking about the Mud Hole, a large section of a long groove in the bottom from the mouth of the Hudson River to the Hudson Canyon. For decades the Mud Hole has been a lucrative fishing ground. Unfortunately it also is close to dumping areas for New York City sewage, dredgings and other junk.
I fished the Mud Hole for years, first on scallop trawlers and then on draggers from Point Pleasant, NJ, from the same docks that the Lovgrens use. Much of what we caught in the Mud Hole was shipped to markets in northern New Jersey and New York City, ironically completing a recycling circle of sorts. What went down your neighbor's toilet comes back to you by way of the dinner table.