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Atlantic City, NJ

The Lenni-Lenape Indians were the original inhabitants of Absecon Island, which later became Atlantic City. It wasn't until the 1700s that the first European settlers began to build homes in the area. Development ramped up in 1854, when the railroad made it possible to get to Atlantic City from New York and other areas. Within the next fifty years, there was a marked increase in the population from roughly 250 to 27,000 citizens. Hotels, amusement piers, the boardwalk, and later casinos began popping up all over Atlantic City.

Recreational Fisheries

In New Jersey, the charter/party fleet is the largest on east coast. Numerous fishing charters operate out of Atlantic City year round. Key species caught include flounder, black sea bass, cod, striped bass, weakfish, bluefish, tuna, shark, and mahi mahi. Most charter boats exceed 120 feet in length and can accommodate over 150 passengers.

Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture

Atlantic City's commercial fishing fleet is based in the Marina section of the city, in the shadow of the casinos. This fishery is conducted by larger vessels, 70 to 150 feet in length, equipped with hydraulic dredges. Atlantic City’s fishery provides much of the world's supply of minced clams and clam strips. There are no processing facilities in Atlantic City, so the clams must be trucked elsewhere. In addition to the large commercial clam industry, numerous small-scale fishing operations in Atlantic City fish for clams on the bay side using rakes and tongs or fishing by hand. There are also some clam aquaculture facilities there.

In 2013 Atlantic City commercial fishermen caught 27 million pounds of fish. The port ranked 33rd in the country in pounds of fish caught. The vast majority of the catch is surf clams and ocean quahogs. Between the years of 1997-2006 the port averaged over $20.8 million profit from just these two species. 

In nearby Egg Harbor City, a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) is in operation -- B&B Farms. They provide both fresh locally grown organic crops as well as locally caught seafood.

Top harvested species in port:: Surf Clams, Ocean Quahog, Scallop, Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, Lobster, Monkfish, Bluefish, Butterfish.