At the young age of 24, Tyler Long bought his first fishing vessel and from there Long Fisheries was born. Tyler got into the commercial fishing industry through working on his uncle’s boat in high school and then for longer periods on bigger vessels afterwards. From these experiences, he saw that there was potential to make a living in the fishing industry and thus, has been doing it ever since. As Tyler does not like to be away from family for extended periods of time, he tries to focus more on smaller, high value catches. On his current vessel, the Harvester, Tyler and his crew will fish for crab, tuna, salmon and sometimes halibut. After 8 years of being a commercial fisherman, Tyler expanded Long Fisheries operations through the lease of dock 15 along the Charleston working waterfront. With the addition of the dock, Long Fisheries provides a place for out of town buyers from LA to British Columbia, Canada to conduct business in Charleston. Over the years, Tyler and his crew of 5 has worked with 10 or more seafood companies along the coast. He and his crew of 3 and 2 dock hands have unloaded crab, shrimp, oysters, urchins, and other types of seafood. With a convenient place to do business, Long Fisheries has been able to attract more buyers from out of Charleston to the area which in turn helps increase market prices for the local commercial fishing industry. In addition, by establishing these relationships, Tyler can conduct business more easily up and down the west coast due to knowing people at different harbors and ports.
In addition to adding economic value to the local commercial industry, Long Fisheries has been able to expand to the tourism industry by providing fresh tuna to tourists right off the dock. The popularity of this aspect of Tyler’s business has surprised him. He says that in the summer, it can get fairly busy and even hectic as there is high demand from tourists for not only fresh tuna but for the experience of seeing the fish being unloaded from the boat and filleted in front of them. Moving forward, Tyler hopes to be able to install more signage on the dock and change the name to make it more of a destination. If the tourism aspect of his business continues to grow, Tyler also hopes to add a small storefront to sell packaged and frozen local seafood. However, for now, stay posted to our Charleston Marina Facebook page as we will do our best to let you know when Tyler and his crew are coming in with a fresh catch of tuna available for sale right off the docks!
As a business owner, Tyler really values the freedom and flexibility that comes with the job as well as the challenges. He says that since the fishing industry is so seasonal and circumstantial, he never knows what is going to happen which makes his work exciting. He also really enjoys contributing to the industry that has provided for him and his family by adding economic value to the fishing community through his business, Long Fisheries. Tyler is also involved in the fishing community as a member of the Dungeness Crab Commission and Whale Advisory panel representing and advocating for the commercial fishermen.
Next time you are in the Charleston Marina, make sure to make a stop by Dock 15 next to Dock F for some fresh tuna and/or see a working waterfront in action. With tuna season fast approaching, there will definitely be opportunities to buy fresh tuna “right off the boat right to the back of your car” and a working waterfront experience to boot!