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Boston, MA

The City of Boston has been an important port since its founding in 1630. During colonial times, the city’s economy was based on fishing, shipbuilding, and trade in and out of Boston Harbor. While fishing-related business is dwarfed by some of the other businesses, Boston still plays a key role in the New England fish trade.

Celebrating Fishing

Boston hosts a number of events, which celebrate the city’s connections with the sea. The annual Blessing of the Fleet is held at the Boston Marina and Shipyard. In the past few years, the Boston Fish Pier has hosted the annual Boston Seafood Festival. The festival is sponsored by the Boston Fisheries Foundation and highlights sustainable seafood by including a mix of food preparation demonstrations and culinary fare. The Fisherman's Feast is held each year in Boston North End. The city holds an annual Harborfest as part of the city’s Fourth of July celebrations, which celebrates the city’s role in American history as a maritime port, and includes the Boston Chowderfest. The Seafood Expo North America (formerly the International Boston Seafood Show) is the largest seafood trade show in North America. 

Recreational Fisheries

Numerous recreational fishing charters operate out of Boston. Flying Fish Charters is one charter company that runs fishing trips in and around Boston. Recreational fishermen can buy bait, tackle, and fuel at Eric’s Bait and Tackle at the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina. The Boston Harbor Islands are a popular fishing spot, and are one of the few places in Boston that offer sportfishing year round.

Commercial Fisheries

The Boston Fish Pier, which opened in 1912, is a focal point in Boston for fish landings. Some of the major wholesale, retailers and processors in Boston include: Channel Fish Processing Company, Stavis Seafoods, PierFish, Red’s BestJohn Nagle Company, Quarterdeck Seafoods, Boston Sword and Tuna, F.J. Ohara & Sons, Pangea Shellfish Company, Yankee Lobster Company, Foley Fish and Atlantic Coast Seafood.

In 2013 commercial fishing vessels that call Boston home landed 20 million pounds of fish. Boston ranked 42 in the nation in fish landings.  

Top species harvested in port: Monkfish, Lobster, Scallops, Dogfish, Skate, Mackerel, Butterfish, Summer Flounder, Scup, Black sea bass, Whiting, Bluefish, Herring.