Right off the boat, in the door

WEST OCEAN CITY — It had been a good day at sea for the Instigator, an 80-foot trawler out of Cape May, so it was a good day at Martin Fish Co.

The red-and-white fishing vessel was tied up at Martin’s dock in the Ocean City Commercial Fishing Harbor last week, unloading its catch of 30,000 pounds of porgies and 15,000 pounds of black sea bass caught that morning.

A crew in rubberized overalls and waterproof boots loaded the slippery fish onto a conveyor belt and sorted them according to grade and size.

Another team stacked brown cartons marked “Fresh Seafood” and packed each with 50 pounds of fish and layers of ice, working fast to keep the seafood fresh and cold.

A forklift loaded the cartons of fresh fish, dripping with melting ice, onto trucks destined for local restaurants and the big city markets of Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Several cartons went inside the door a few feet away to Martin’s own seafood market.

It was all in a day’s work at Martin Fish Co., illustrating its slogan, “Where the Boats Unload.”

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