When consumers enjoy a seafood dinner caught by local boats, it isn’t just the fisherman they need to thank for the pleasure.
Dozens of family-owned allied area businesses play a vital role in the local fishing industry, supplying a wide variety of goods and services that keep fishing afloat, ranging from gear and fuel to food, fresh water and ice.
Retired fisherman James Kendall, owner of New Bedford Seafood Consulting, underscores the importance of these allied businesses to all sectors of the commercial seafood industry. Often family-owned, these operations, he notes, have been forced to become “very adaptive” to meet the changing and frequently diminishing needs of the fishing industry brought about by the reduction in fishing trips allowed by the federal government.
According to Kendall, these allied industries are “critical” to the survival of the fishing industry but are in danger of disappearing. In some smaller ports, Kendall notes, some services are no longer available, causing fishermen to turn to businesses in New Bedford and Gloucester or similar, larger ports.
“Without them, we can’t operate,” Kendall said, listing services such as fuel and ice delivery, equipment and ship repair, and stocking provisions as crucial supports to the successful operation of any commercial fishing vessel.
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