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Department of State

New Jersey Business Action Center

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State
Cape May County-based Lund’s Fisheries

Jeff Reichle at Cape May County-based Lund’s Fisheries

Next time you’re enjoying your favorite seafood at home or at a restaurant take a moment to consider the source.

“There’s a big disconnect in our state,” said Jeff Reichle, chairman of Cape May County-based Lund’s Fisheries. “They don’t realize the magnitude of the fishing industry in New Jersey.”

According to the Garden State Seafood Association, four of the top six commercial fishing ports in the Mid-Atlantic are found in New Jersey.

Scot Mackey, executive director of the Garden State Seafood Association, said the New Jersey fishing industry sees $2.1 billion in sales each year.

The fishing Industry here is concentrated at five major coastal ports - Belford, Point Pleasant, Barnegat Light, Atlantic City, and Cape May/Wildwood. An additional port is along the Delaware Bay at Port Norris, Cumberland County.

Together the ports harvest a wide range of finfish and shellfish including scallops, monkfish, shortfin and longfin squid, mackerel, tuna, swordfish, black sea bass, summer flounder, Atlantic surf clams, and ocean quahogs.

The association statistics show that In 2018 the port of Cape May/Wildwood, which is the largest commercial fishing port in New Jersey, landed 101 million pounds of seafood worth $66 million.

This port ranked 14th in pounds landed and 10th in value for all ports in the United States and, in the northeast (Maine to Virginia), New Jersey ranked second in pounds harvested.

The numbers are impressive. A total of 190,500,000 pounds of finfish and shellfish were landed by New Jersey’s commercial fishermen in 2018 with a landed value of $170,261,0001.

So why don’t many New Jerseyans know that the seafood on their plates comes from the state’s own fishing industry?

“We’ve never felt the need to and haven’t done a good job of promoting ourselves,” Reichle said.

Reichle recalled getting into the industry in 1974. He later started his business and today his son is the company president and his daughter works at the company’s commercial cold storage facility in Bridgeton.

“It’s a very unique industry. Forty seven years in this business and fishermen never fail to amaze me,” Reichle said.

 

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