Our Commercial Fishing Industry
America's #1 Fishing Port for over a decade
The Port of New Bedford is America's #1 Fishing Port with fish landings valued at $369 million. It has become New England’s seafood hub, with more than 30 processors and distributors, ranging in size from high-volume international wholesale to small-scale local retail.
The Port of New Bedford is close to historic and bountiful fishing grounds; an ideal harbor supporting New England’s largest fishing fleet. Nantucket Shoals, Georges Bank and the Great South Channel—grounds blessed with abundant sea scallops and an array of fish—all lie within a day’s steam. Each year, nearly 50 million pounds of sea scallops land on New Bedford docks, making the city America’s most profitable port for the last ten years.
The Port of New Bedford is a full-service port, with ship chandleries, ice
houses, welders, net designers, boatyards, gear builders, engineers, maritime
attorneys, insurance brokers, settlement houses and every other conceivable
shoreside marine support business.
The Port of New Bedford is home to one of the nation’s last remaining fish auctions, and numerous other offloading facilities. Vessels from every major East Coast port unload their catch here; including every important commercial species from cod and haddock to sea scallops. During the height of the season, 500,000 pounds of scallop meats cross New Bedford docks in a single day.
The Port of New Bedford is on the leading edge of fisheries science and research, housing UMass Dartmouth’s School of Marine Science and Technology—better known as SMAST. This internationally acclaimed marine studies program has played a leading role in current fishery science and management, as well as ocean modeling.
The Port serves as the City’s greatest natural resource and most critical asset to stimulate investment, attract new industry, create jobs and develop a healthy economy. Over 4,400 people are employed by New Bedford’s commercial port. New Bedford is the number one value fishing port in the nation generating economic activity in excess of $1 billion. In 2011, the fishing fleet landed over 117 million pounds of products with $369 million in direct sales.