Between 100 and 150 people of all ages make the trip to Barnegat Light every Friday morning through Aug. 30 to take part in the weekly Dock Tour.
“We’re hoping (visitors) become more familiar with seafood, and the methods used to get it out of the ocean and onto the plate,” said Sharon McKenna, executive director of Larson Puskas Fisheries Education Partnership. “It’s a free public tour, and it’s really been taking off this year.”
Hosted by Viking Village, a commercial seafood production company, the tour features in-depth looks at how the industry operates.
The tour begins with an informational speech by third-generation fisherman Karter Larson of Barnegat Light. Having grown up a part of the company, he addresses the crowd with extensive knowledge of what Viking Village does, why and how.
According to Larson, the fishermen work 364 days a year — pausing only for Christmas — to deliver fresh, sustainable seafood to the surrounding areas. The staff works in three main fishing areas: scalloping, net fishing and long-line fishing. Larson explains to his audience that scalloping is a coveted job among fishermen, stating that “they work only 50-something days a year and make a lot of money.”
He then went on to say that no one in the audience was likely to get the job.
“The only way to get a job on that boat is if someone dies or goes to prison,” he joked. “Both have happened.”
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