NEW JERSEY REELS IN RECORD SEAFOOD CATCH
Result of Cooperation Between Fishermen, Government
The Department of Agriculture today announced that the
latest findings by the National Marine Fisheries Service
show that in 2004, New Jersey commercial fishermen landed
a record 187 million pounds of seafood valued at almost
Jersey’s 2003 harvest yielded 170 million pounds of
fish with a dockside value of $121 million.
Jersey’s commercial fishermen have been supplying
the world’s finest seafood for over 300 years, being
within easy reach of more than 100 Northern and Southern
species ranging from Atlantic mackerel to yellowfin tuna,”
said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus.
“We want the industry to continue to prosper and grow
so future generations can enjoy high quality seafood caught
off of our shores.”
2004, the top species by value harvested in New Jersey included:
sea scallops -$67.4 million; surf clams-$22.3 million; ocean
quahogs-$9.1 million; squid $8.5 million; hard clams-$7.4
million; blue crabs-$5.3 million; fluke-$4.4 million; Atlantic
mackerel-$3.4 million; monkfish $3.5 million; lobster $1.8
million; and oysters-$1.6 million. Surf clams and ocean
quahogs are the clams that are commonly used for products
such as sauces, clam strips, and chowders.
of the recent positive growth can be attributed to fishermen
working together with government officials and scientists
to develop effective management plans and strategies that
can help ensure that our coastal resources remain available
to future generation,” said Kuperus. “This strategy
has paid dividends with a great harvest of sea scallops
and location have helped New Jersey seafood excel in the
world and national markets. New Jersey is the world’s
leading supplier of surf clams, ocean quahogs and mackerel.
And, in 2004, Cape May became the fifth largest port in
the nation in terms of dollar value landing $68.1 million.
Other important ports include Atlantic City, Belford, Point
Pleasant, Point Norris and Barnegat Light. With annual retail,
import and export sales in excess of $2 billion, New Jersey
seafood is vital to our state’s economy.
highlight the state’s seafood industry, in 2004 the
Department of Agriculture developed a Jersey Seafood website
at www.jerseyseafood.nj.gov, which provides consumers with
a wide array of information on the state’s seafood
industry and seafood products.
website also includes a section on aquaculture, another
important method of providing high quality New Jersey fish
and shellfish to consumers in the state and around the world.
Many of the oyster and hard clam landings are attributable
to aquatic farmers.
1998, the United States Department of Agriculture listed
only 28 aquatic farms in New Jersey. Since the New Jersey
Department of Agriculture began issuing Aquatic Farmer Licenses
in 2004, 172 licenses have been granted. Of that total,
154 are shellfish growers (100 clams, 42 oysters and 12
clams & oysters), 14 finfish, 2 plants and 2 finfish
and plants. As a requirement of the aquatic farmer license,
growers are required to follow a set of Agricultural Management
Practices and an Aquatic Organism Health Management Plan.
These strategies are designed to protect wild stocks, the
environment and the growing aquatic farming sector.
Department is developing a brand for seafood that is landed
or grown in New Jersey so that consumers can be assured
that the products are local and meet specific handling standards.
A group of New Jersey clammers has received a USDA value-added
grant to develop a Jersey Seafood brand of premium bagged
“We want consumers to know that the seafood they are
buying comes from proud New Jersey fishermen, that our fishermen
follow sound management practices to help maintain the health
of the ocean, and use the latest technology to ensure the
highest quality catch,” said Kuperus. “The Jersey
Seafood brand will help residents recognize they are buying
locally and supporting the state’s important fishing
more information, here are some helpful links:
of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University
Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium