The South Jersey Marina in Cape May, New Jersey. Christian Ouellet / Shutterstock.com

NJ - Recreational fishing industry looks forward to eased restrictions, welcoming back visitors

Even with more marinas recently reopening, the economic impact of COVID-19 lockdowns to curb spread of the coronavirus is having far-reaching effects on New Jersey’s recreational fishing industry.

The damage is expected to be widespread and long-lasting, John DePersenaire, Fisheries Policy & Science Researcher at the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), said in an email response to The Center Square.

“It’s important to understand that like many businesses in New Jersey, recreational fishing is largely seasonal in nature with the peak of their annual income coinciding with the peak of the tourism season,” DePersenaire said. “Yet, the shoulder months – April, May, September and October – make up a big part of their annual revenue. In the spring, many of these businesses are coming off [a] few months with little income, and the small but important amount of recreational fishing in the spring provides a much-needed influx of positive cash flow as these businesses prep, plan and purchase for the upcoming season.”

With the implementation of the state’s Executive Order 107 on March 21, DePersenaire said, most industry businesses except for some marinas were closed.

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