Landlord Fed Up With Bronx Fish Farmer

Riverdale (Bronx, New York)Bronx (New York City)Hunts Point

There's a buzz about apartment 14B in Winsor Apartments in Riverdale, Bronx. The landlord says the tenant hoards fish tanks, raises tilapia and sells them from his living room.

A lawsuit, obtained by PIX 11 news, alleges the tenant, Christopher Toole, is illegally breeding fish and running his business, the Society of Aquaponic Values and Education, from his home.

"Many might describe him as the shareholder from hell," said Errol Brett, the building's attorney.

Neighbors claim Toole makes noise throughout the night, that a fishy water leaks into the apartment below and that he drags the fishing materials through the hallways, "raising tilapia in violation of their propriety lease."

"It smells like fish. Only the Fulton Fish Market isn't in Riverdale," said Brett.

Toole was only available by phone. He declined to comment directly on the lawsuit since he had not seen it. But he did tell PIX 11 that he does not farm his fish out of his apartment. He rents a space at The Point – a non profit venue in Hunts Point. There he says he harvests fish, mainly tilapia, and sells them to New Yorkers.

About four months ago, Toole said he received a letter from the building that detailed a number of complaints from other tenants about the fish tanks. Toole did not take action because he stands by his claim that he never grew colonies of fish in his home.

Errol said he filed suit in Bronx Supreme Court last week.

Toole not only breeds fish, he is active in the co-op in Riverdale. He plans to run for board elections.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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