New Jersey’s Commercial Fishing Industry Struggles to Stay Afloat

In the wake of the pandemic, the industry—the fifth largest in the country—has been in rough waters. Will July and August bring relief? Atlantic Cape Fisheries, of which Sam Martin is chief operating officer, is a large commercial fishery as well as New Jersey’s largest producer of farmed oysters. “Last year we sold 2.5 million oysters, and we planned to sell 5 million this year, but sales so far are down about 80 percent compared to last year.” The bottleneck that Martin spoke of has throttled not only oystering, but New Jersey’s entire commercial fishing industry, “When I tell my boats to go fishing, I tell them, ‘Don’t bring in a lot,’” says David Tauro, general manager of the docks at the Belford Seafood Co-Op Belford, founded in 1953, is the smallest of New Jersey’s six commercial fisheries, but its pain is shared by the larger ones, such as Viking Village in Barnegat Light and Lund’s Fisheries in the state’s largest commercial fishing port, Cape May. >click to read< 17:53

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