Martin Fish was incorporated in 1958, and now five generations have been working here at the Ocean City Harbor. The business of fishing for this family, however, started way before that. John Patrick Martin arrived in this country, from Sweden, around 1900. He moved to North Carolina, in the area of what we now know as Nags Head, near Kitty Hawk. He started fishing, in that area, for sturgeon and other fish with gill nets. He gradually migrated north until he reached Chincoteague, Virginia, in 1918. Chincoteague is about 30 miles south of the Ocean City inlet, which was not cut through at that time.
In 1975 the next generation took over when John David Martin (John W’s oldest) became the owner of the company and continues in that capacity to this day. John David had 2 sons and 1 daughter. He has helped his sons purchase their own boats and his daughter Erika manages the retail market with the help of her niece Ginger. John P. Martin’s great-great granddaughter is the fifth generation to be involved at Martin Fish Co. Over the years, at one time or another, all of John W. Martin’s sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, and few great-grandsons and great-granddaughters have worked here at Martin Fish Co.
It truly is a family business. Some other employees have worked at Martin Fish Co. for twenty to thirty years, and they are just like family. We appreciate the fishing heritage our great grandfather started and that our grandfather with his cousin Harold continued here at the Commercial Harbor in West Ocean City. We hope to be providing fresh, locally caught seafood to many generations of customers in the future. Fishing and providing fresh seafood for others is our way of life and we love it.