New Jersey Fisheries Floundering in Sandy’s Wake

Still reeling in misery three weeks after the storm.
Still reeling in misery three weeks after the storm. Photo: iStockPhoto

Though three weeks have passed since Superstorm Sandy laid waste to much of the Jersey Shore, there’s still a long way to go before things are “back to normal.” That’s especially true for the Garden State’s fishing trade. Today’s Inquirer reports that commercial fishing ports, docks, and processing facilities from Long Beach Island to Sandy Hook took a tremendous beating from Sandy, and are still struggling to snap back. The storm chasing many species of fish into deeper waters, and flooding oyster and other shellfish beds with sewage and untreated waste water only complicates matters more. The $2.7 billion commercial and recreational fishing industry employs tens of thousands, and any long term disruptions will surely send troublesome economic shockwaves rippling into other segments, including the hospitality trade. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Commerce declaring a federal fisheries resource disaster for New Jersey and New York means emergency funding is on the way. [Inquirer]