In recent years the sport of saltwater fishing in New Jersey has lost more than one of every 10 jobs lost industrywide, nearly $200 million in sales and $109 million in contributions to the state’s gross domestic product, according to the most recent economic data from the National Marine Fisheries Service.
And since 2007 the industry has continued to lose ground in New Jersey, according toan analysis of federal data tracking anglers and the trips they take off New Jersey’s shores conducted by the Star-Ledger newspaper.
"It’s tough living on the water," Capt. Rob Semkewyc of Sea Hunter told the Star-Ledger. "Every year it gets tougher."
Experts point to the recession and an increase in gas prices for curbing the number of fishermen chartering boats and pleasure craft. Anglers also say restrictive catch limits make the sport less appealing for many.