About Lighthouse Marina
We are a commercial fishing marina located in Barnegat Light, NJ. Barnegat Light is located on the north end of Long Beach Island and has been dubbed as the Tilefish Capital of the World. We have several commercial boats here that fish for monkfish, tilefish, fluke, smoothdog and spinydog sharks, swordfish, tuna fish as well as some by-catch species of fish.
In March of 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic, our boats were tied up as there was no market to sell the fish to. At the end of March, it was decided that one of our boats was going to go out on a two day tilefish trip and attempt to sell directly to the community. It was a gamble, but the boat owner thought it was worth the risk. Once the boat left the dock, one Facebook post was made indicating that we would have tilefish available for a drive through sale and orders could be taken via telephone. Our workers were working virtually from home. The post was made at 7:30 in the morning. By noon, there were orders for over 1,000 lbs of fish. Upon the boats return to the dock, and at packout, cars were lined up around the block to purchase the fish directly. The people were happy to be out of their homes, even if it was to sit in the car awating their turn to purchase the catch. We knew then that the community was starving for fresh seafood right off the boat and we continued the sales with different species as each season began.
After tilefish season was done as the boats had caught their regulated quotas, the longliners geared up for sword and tuna. Not sure of the public interest, we did offer the whole tuna and sword which average from 40 to 75 pounds - and the whole fish having to have to be purchased, the community was getting together with their family and friends to share the fish. The interest and the demand was again there. The remaining catch is sold down the street at Viking Village for worldwide distribution.
While Covid restrictions have eased and the fish markets, restaurants and auctions are again open, we still continue to sell the fish to the public and practice safe handling and social distance when picking up orders. We are no longer doing the drive through sales as the orders have decreased somewhat and we will continue to do this through each season.
We have been in operation here since the early 70s but 2020 is the first year that we have sold direct to the community.
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