From Sandy Hook to Cape May, rising gas prices impact the marine industry

The price of gas is already impacting the marine industry, as Jersey Shore towns from Cape May to Sandy Hook rely on busy boating seasons.

News 12 Staff

Mar 8, 2022, 12:44 PM

Updated 839 days ago

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The price of gas is already impacting the marine industry, as Jersey Shore towns from Cape May to Sandy Hook rely on busy boating seasons. 
At the Fishermen's Dock Co-op along the Manasquan Inlet, the cost of fuel for privately owned commercial fishing boats comes out of the day's catch -- usually 10%. But with rising diesel prices, the percentage may increase to 30-40%. Some owners are wondering if it's worth risking theircrews' lives for such a small return.
“If these prices get up to $5, $6 a gallon, I don't know if these boats will leave the dock,” says retired commercial fisherman Jim Lovgren.
Lovgren sold his vessel last year when fuel prices began to rise. Many of his lifelong friends, generations of captains and crews, may be forced to follow.
"You don't want to lose a business like this,” says Lovgren. “We are producing locally sustainably caught seafood."
Predictions of up to $8 marine gas may lead to last summer's new boat purchase becoming a sleeping quarter dockside, says marina owner Jim Pacilio. 
“We have boaters here particularly up and down the river that come anywhere from Pennsylvania. Connecticut. New York state,” says Pacilio. “Their commute and cost to commute will actually compound the effect.”
The boat and marina owners say there's no quick fix. The effects of a fuel-impacted season will be felt from bait shops to seafood markets, in addition to possibly putting 100 or so captain and crews just at the dock out of business.


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