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Barnegat Light, NJ

Barnegat Light, located at the northern tip of Long Beach Island, was incorporated in 1904 after seceding from Long Beach Township. The town has a population of 574 spread across 0.852 square miles, but despite its relatively small size, it boasts one of the most important commercial fishing ports in Ocean County New Jersey. It is also home to the second tallest lighthouse in the country, “Old Barney,” which is one of the Jersey Shore’s most famous landmarks.

Celebrating Fishing

Barnegat Light holds an annual Blessing of the Fleet in the Barnegat Light Yacht Basin each June to pray for the community’s commercial fishermen. Viking Village, a commercial fishing operation, has an award-winning Dock Tour of the working waterfront.

Recreational Fisheries

Many recreational and charter fishing boats can be found in Barnegat Light, along with marinas, boat rental facilities, and bait and tackle shops. Charters offer in-shore and deep sea fishing and party boat trips. The Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association represents many charter boat operators on Long Beach Island. The Recreational Fishing Alliance, a lobbying group, is headquartered near Barnegat Light.

Commercial Fisheries

Barnegat Light is the primary commercial sea port on Long Beach Island, while the rest of the ports on the island specialize in recreational fishing. The town relies heavily on commercial fishing year-long along with tourism, but in the winter months, commercial fishing is the mainstay of the economy. The port has five marinas. The two largest docks have 36 full-time resident commercial boats, working year round, as well as recreational vessels and transient vessels. Viking Village, one of Barnegat Light’s two commercial docks, is one of the largest suppliers of fish and seafood on the Eastern Seaboard. Each year over 4 million pounds of seafood are packed out of Viking Village and shipped locally and internationally. Also, Blue Water Fishermen’s Association is located in Barnegat Light. This association is made up of tuna and swordfishermen, as well as others involved in the commercial fishery of highly migratory species.

Top species harvested in port: Scallop, monkfish, swordfish, tilefish, bluefish, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass