Many people in this Mid-Atlantic region recognize that Cape May, New Jersey is a major seafood landing port with well over $100 million in annual landings. In fact Cape May is among the top five seafood landing ports in the U.S.
Yet few people know that tiny rural port of Money Island, New Jersey is the state’s second most productive seafood port. Almost all of the commercial oyster harvest and a substantial harvest of crabs and other seafood are harvested nearby and brought in through docks at Cumberland County’s commercial waterfront at Money Island. Estimates of the economic value start at $20+ million per year. The Delaware Bay is at the beginning of a dynamic growth stage for commercial aquaculture, just as we saw in the Chesapeake bay over the prior decade. Money Island, located 40 miles to the northwest and midway between the C&D Canal (linking to the Chesapeake Bay) and the Atlantic Ocean.
My company, Baysave Corporation, is a locally funded nonprofit organization focused on bringing the benefits of this expanding seafood industry to the local community by helping watermen make the most of their expanding business opportunities. For more information on how you can get involved, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today we launched the Philadelphia area’s first (as far as we know) attempt at a community supported dock-to-table seafood venture. The intent is to test the water on this concept that has worked well in other regional markets. If this initial small project is successful in gaining 150 supporters then I’m sure we will see a lot more diverse community supported seafood projects to follow. We have early stage plans to expand it to hand tonged oysters and small-scale fishing. The ability to provide business security for the harvester and processor as well as the ability to deliver a quality product to local consumers at a good price make this a winning formula for the future of a sustainable and secure food system.
It’s taken more than a year to plan this project, recruit the harvesters and processors, assemble the necessary equipment, obtain the required FDA seafood safety certification. We are still working with the local health department to identify and address the appropriate issues.
Kickstarter seems to be the perfect platform for this although I recognize that I need serious help in the multimedia area! The project, just like the crab in this photo, is starting quite small.
Here’s where we stand with online crab ordering:
The purpose of this site was to make online ordering easy by keeping it simple. That seems to be accomplished but we have only basic functionality at this point. The site now lists only two products (medium and large hard shell crabs) and allows for cash on delivery as the payment method.
For now, we are not charging for delivery in the Philadelphia area for now (but that must change soon). Long distance delivery is not offered.
We sell only live crabs but we will clean them to your specifications (unless the health department tells us that we can’t). Tony posed a list of questions to the health department and other authorities asking for clarification. Until we get clarification, crabs are not offered through 3rd party shippers.
Comments and feedback are welcome.
We now offer delivery in the southeast Pennsylvania and South Jersey area. The price is $25 to $55 depending on distance. Our refrigerated truck keeps your crabs safe and cool until delivery to your door.
Our tiny working waterfront community was featured in the current issue of Edible Jersey magazine. The article called us the “epicenter”. We hear that we are New Jersey’s second most productive seafood landing port.
In the Chesapeake, the island of Tangiers is known as the capital of the soft shell crab industry. In the Delaware Bay our port of Money Island is known as the primary oyster landing port. We hope to continue to grow into the primary crab industry port as well.