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North Kingstown, RI

North Kingstown is located in Narragansett Bay in Washington County in the state of Rhode Island. As of the United States Estimated Population 2013, the population was 35,320, and the town has a total area of 58.3 square miles. Originally known as Kings Towne, it was incorporated in 1674 and the two towns of North Kingstown and South Kingstown were formed by a split of the original Kings Towne in 1723. Its many beaches make it famous as a summer resort. Today, North Kingstown is the fastest growing township in the State of Rhode Island and has strong economic growth potential due to a deep-water port, rail lines, the state’s longest runway, and its natural harbor. Car carriers routinely offload vehicles from Porsche, Audi, VW and Subaru, which has become the principal industry in the port of Davisville in North Kingstown. North Kingstown is also home to the research vessel Okeanos Explorer, which is a converted United States Navy ship, now an exploratory vessel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, officially launched in 2010. This vessel is known for its live video feeds from ocean exploration to classroom.

Recreational Fisheries

Narragansett Bay attracts a variety of recreational fishermen. These fishermen target many species (both for fish and shellfish), but primarily quahogs and bluefish. In 2004, across the state of Rhode Island, nearly 362,000 recreational marine anglers - more than half from out-of-state - made over 1.5 million trips, catching 4.3 million pounds of sport fish and releasing about 55 percent.

Commercial Fisheries

North Kingstown has a diverse fishery with landings from a wide variety of species groupings. A number of commercial operations and associations are located or involved in Kingstown’s commercial fishing industry. American Mussel Harvesters, a state of the art shellfish company, is one of the state’s largest purchasers and suppliers of clams and mussels. SeaFreeze, Ltd., which began its operations in 1985, is the largest producer of sea-frozen fish on the east coast of the United States and berths the two largest fishing vessels in the state, F/V Relentless and F/V Persistence, both of which are top notch freezer trawlers that fish from Southern New England to the Gulf of Mexico. The Rhode Island Commercial Fishermen’s Association, formed in 2000 and located in Wakefield, a village of South Kingstown, includes fishermen, dealers, suppliers and others. Other associations with membership in North Kingstown are Rhode Island Lobstermen’s Association, Rhode Island Shellfishermen’s Association, Rhode Island Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, Ocean State Fisherman’s Association, Ocean State Aquaculture Association, and Rhode Island Salt Water Anglers Association. There are ongoing concerns for the fishermen in North Kingstown. One of these has been the proposed transformation of the Quonset Naval Base into a deep water container port. These concerns include pollution from the port, noise from the ships, increased erosion from the wake of more ships, greater potential for oil spills, and the introduction of invasive species from ballast water.

Top species harvested in port: squid, mackerel, butterfish, herring.