Seaborn Seafood: Kerry Harrington

Captain Kerry is a native of the Eastern Shore. Born in Milford, DE, he got his start fishing in the Indian River Inlet in 1968 and began fishing full-time the following year. Like many fishermen in the area, Kerry came from a fishing family. His father was an avid sport fisherman. Although he passed away when Kerry was six, Kerry continued his legacy of sportfishing, which took him to many places around the world, including the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Virgin Islands. Though he enjoyed traveling, he was often gone for up to three months at a time, which made it hard to settle down and start a family. Eventually, his brother proposed they work together, and Kerry settled back on the Eastern Shore in 1979. It wasn’t until right before the COVID-19 pandemic began that his current business, Seaborn Seafood, was able to come to full fruition with the help of his son and grandson. With his son taking over operations on the Seaborn, and his grandson taking over operations on the Integrity, another one of Kerry’s boats, 

Seaborn’s vessel, Integrity, is docked in the West Ocean City Marina. Photo Credit: Zach Garmoe


Kerry was able to shift his focus to starting a more permanent seafood market, and thus, Seaborn Seafood was born. Currently, three generations work at Seaborn, and another generation is right in line to learn the family business. Kerry’s daughter also helps with cutting fish and operating the market. Kerry explained that when it gets busy in the summer, he is thankful to have some extra help with cutting, as it is difficult for them to cut fish as quickly as they sell them. Though not nearly as busy in the winter, Kerry explained that even during that time of year they bring in a great diversity of seafood including lobsters, seabass, monkfish, squid, porgys, and mackerel. Moving more into spring, they will begin to catch more tuna, swordfish, pomfret, and mako shark. Seaborn Seafood is able to bring in such a diversity of products because they utilize several different fishing methods. One of these methods uses a longline, which is comprised of a very long trail of fishing line with many baited hooks. Kerry said that they typically use about 20 miles of fishing line during their longline trips. These lines can be set at many different depths depending on what species the fisher is trying to catch or avoid. 

The logo for Seaborn Seafood at their stand in the West Ocean City Marina. Photo Credit: Zach Garmoe

The Seaborn also utilizes traps known as pots, similar to the well-known ones used to catch the blue crab. Kerry noted that out of all his gear, pots typically take the most preparation as you have to set, retrieve, and clean them and make sure they are in running order for the start of the season. For a relatively small boat that Kerry built himself, it is impressive that the Seaborn has three different fishing options on board. Kerry built the Seaborn from scratch, and it has been through everything with him. He has taken the Seaborn to the Yucatan Peninsula, the Florida Keys, and even Cuba. It is equipped with living quarters, showers, a galley, and is still able to hold twenty thousand pounds of fish below deck. In addition to their adventures, Kerry and the Seaborn have also seen many changes to the commercial fishing industry and the OC Fisherman’s Marina since their first voyage. 

Kerry and his grandson. Photo Credit: Zach Garmoe

Despite its many challenges, Kerry loves the life that fishing has given him and appreciates all of the places he was able to see. Every day he is on the water, he enjoys the “excitement of the unknown” and the anticipation of seeing what is in his net or at the end of the lines. With the establishment of Seaborn Seafood, Kerry has been able to get experience with the market and retail end of seafood sales, where he enjoys some added bonuses. “The neatest part [of retail] is to meet so many people. Everybody’s got a story to tell. That is another really rewarding part of this job”, he says. Alongside the great people he meets at the market, he also appreciates other fishermen in the harbor who are like family to him. In the future, Kerry is looking forward to further mentoring the younger generations at Seaborn Seafood. His great grandsons, seven-year-old twins and a two-year-old, already practice throwing a cast net with him. He worries a lack of young people will cause the industry to die off, but he always hopes to “keep the light lit” so the commercial fishing fleet of Ocean City can continue to persist. Though he is unsure about the future of Ocean City’s commercial fishing industry, Kerry only has plans to expand his company

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