WEST OCEAN CITY, MD. >> The morning sun glistened off the barrels stacked with mahi mahi and tuna, turning their tails iridescent yellow.

The commercial harbor here was buzzing the way it rarely does anymore, the 50-foot Sea Born unloading more than 8,000 pounds of fish after a week at sea. The crew never seemed to stop moving — lifting barrels, shoveling mounds of ice into containers, weighing and grading the fish that sometimes ends up as sushi in New York City and even Japan.

This is the industry Ocean City was built on more than a century ago, before boarding and bath houses and restaurants and a boardwalk began transforming it into a sprawling tourist town.

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