Commercial fishermen say the only Montauk ice provider at Gosman’s dock is selling its business, which could spell disaster for fishing fleet. NewsdayTV’s Drew Scott reports. Credit: Gordon Grant

On a cool, overcast spring morning, Amanda Jones stood at the end of a commercial fishing dock and peered across Montauk Harbor.

From the end of the dock — home base for more than two dozen commercial fishing vessels, including the 49-foot Amanda Joy that bears her name — she could see Gosman’s Dock, a local fixture since 1943. 

Next to the popular restaurant and clam bar, a less conspicuous building, “Gosman’s Ice Company,” houses the lone machine on the South Fork that is capable of churning out vast quantities of ice fishermen rely on to store and transport fresh catch. 

The fate of the commercial fishing industry in Montauk —  and its fleet that totals more than 100 vessels — depends on that ice, Jones said. She is the director of operations for Inlet Seafood Inc. in the hamlet, which includes both a wholesale seafood company and restaurant. 

With the Gosman’s property listed for sale, Jones and other locals involved in commercial fishing fear they could lose their source of ice, a situation they described as approaching a crisis point. They worry that whoever might buy the property might not want to continue that part of the business.

“It’s such a small thing that could really change the entire harbor,” Jones said.

Jones, 34, who married into one of the six commercial fishing families that own Inlet Seafood Inc., said Gosman's has been the area's sole ice supplier for decades.

K.C. Boyle, who earlier this month helped relaunch a Montauk-based wholesale fish company called Dock to Dish that connects fishermen with restaurants, said it's a “less than ideal” status quo that has worked in recent years, but can't be expected to continue.

Jones said the goal is to build a facility on Inlet Seafood Inc.'s 8½-acre property that can store a new ice machine. A group of fishermen in January 2023 formed a new organization called East End Commercial Fishing Association to lobby for state and federal support as they try to raise around $2 million to pay for the ice machine and new facility.

“We could break ground tomorrow if we wanted to, but we just don’t have the money,” Jones said in a recent interview.

In 2018, the Town of East Hampton’s planning board approved a site plan application from Inlet Seafood Inc. that included a proposed 5,520-square-foot icehouse, storage and office building, town records show.

Bryan and Asa Gosman, who are cousins and part owners of Gosman’s Dock, said that 11.6-acre property remains for sale, with no contracts drawn up.

Bryan Gosman, 51, said he and his cousin plan to continue running the seafood operation.

“The ice plant as of now, there’s no plans of it going anywhere,” Gosman said, while acknowledging the future beyond the next few years is harder to predict.

He said their seafood business relies on ice generated on-site, in addition to the proceeds from ice sales to fishing vessels.

The waterfront compound was listed for sale as far back as 2006 for $55 million. Last year, the property was listed for $45 million, Newsday previously reported.

“Even if the business did sell in five or seven years, I can't imagine anyone would want to give up the ice plant anyway,” Gosman said. 

Fishermen say ice is as important as fuel.

Bill Grimm, 71, a recently retired commercial fisherman who was based in Montauk, said he would begin a trip by loading as much as 30 tons of ice onto his boat, Jason & Danielle, from Gosman’s. The process would take about 90 minutes, he said.

After a few days at sea, he’d return to the dock at Inlet Seafood where a crew would pump the fish out of the hold to be loaded onto trucks bound for a marketplace — typically Hunts Point Cooperative Market in the Bronx, where Fulton Fish Market is located. 

Richard Jones, who has fished out of Montauk since the 1970s, stood at the stern of his 25-foot boat docked at Inlet Seafood recently and said the ice machine at Gosman’s isn’t always reliable. 

“It becomes a problem,” said Jones, 69, the father-in-law of Amanda Jones.

Bryan Gosman said the machinery sometimes requires a part that’s not immediately available. “Generally, I don’t think we’ve ever been out of ice for more than 48 hours,” he said.

Boyle said local fishermen likely would have to go to ports in nearby states if ice was unavailable. That would lead to increased expenses and less time at sea, he said.

“It will ultimately disincentivize, probably most importantly, fishermen from packing out in New York,” he said.

Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, which isn't affiliated with the effort to build a new ice facility at Inlet Seafood Inc., said losing ice supply would be a “catastrophic issue.”

She added: “The bottom line is if you have a fishing port, you need to have ice — you need to have plentiful quantities of ice. Any port that doesn’t have it is in jeopardy.”

Bonnie Brady, executive director of the LI Commercial Fishing Association

The East End Commercial Fishing Association's lobbying effort has caught the attention of local officials.

State Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) and Assemb. Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor) co-wrote letters earlier this month to New York’s congressional representatives in support of the group and its effort to “build a much-needed processing facility and ice house.”

Montauk's fishing fleet as a whole lands between 13 million and 17 million pounds of fish yearly, they said.

Without the ice facility at Gosman’s Dock, “Montauk’s fishing fleet would lose access to its most important land-based asset — ice,” the legislators wrote. 

East Hampton Councilman David Lys acknowledged there is “angst within the commercial fishing industry in East Hampton.”

He said a potential buyer of the Gosman’s property might not find an ice house to be viable for their business model. He said the East End Commercial Fishing Association is taking a proactive approach to stem a potential problem.

There's an “underlying nervousness,” Lys said, about the property's listing for sale.

And if there's no ice, “Where do we go now?” he added.

On a cool, overcast spring morning, Amanda Jones stood at the end of a commercial fishing dock and peered across Montauk Harbor.

From the end of the dock — home base for more than two dozen commercial fishing vessels, including the 49-foot Amanda Joy that bears her name — she could see Gosman’s Dock, a local fixture since 1943. 

Next to the popular restaurant and clam bar, a less conspicuous building, “Gosman’s Ice Company,” houses the lone machine on the South Fork that is capable of churning out vast quantities of ice fishermen rely on to store and transport fresh catch. 

The fate of the commercial fishing industry in Montauk —  and its fleet that totals more than 100 vessels — depends on that ice, Jones said. She is the director of operations for Inlet Seafood Inc. in the hamlet, which includes both a wholesale seafood company and restaurant. 

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Ice for Montauk's commercial fishing fleet comes from a machine at the Gosman's Dock property.
  • Local fishermen say it's the lone machine capable of churning out vast quantities of ice they rely on to store and transport fresh catch. 
  • With Gosman's for sale, fishing interests are worried about the future. The East End Commercial Fishing Association formed last year to try to get financial support from the government for a new facility and ice machine.

With the Gosman’s property listed for sale, Jones and other locals involved in commercial fishing fear they could lose their source of ice, a situation they described as approaching a crisis point. They worry that whoever might buy the property might not want to continue that part of the business.

“It’s such a small thing that could really change the entire harbor,” Jones said.

It’s such a small thing that could really change the entire harbor. 

Amanda Jones, director of operations for Inlet Seafood Inc.  

Photo credit: Gordon M. Grant

Jones, 34, who married into one of the six commercial fishing families that own Inlet Seafood Inc., said Gosman's has been the area's sole ice supplier for decades.

K.C. Boyle, who earlier this month helped relaunch a Montauk-based wholesale fish company called Dock to Dish that connects fishermen with restaurants, said it's a “less than ideal” status quo that has worked in recent years, but can't be expected to continue.

Jones said the goal is to build a facility on Inlet Seafood Inc.'s 8½-acre property that can store a new ice machine. A group of fishermen in January 2023 formed a new organization called East End Commercial Fishing Association to lobby for state and federal support as they try to raise around $2 million to pay for the ice machine and new facility.

“We could break ground tomorrow if we wanted to, but we just don’t have the money,” Jones said in a recent interview.

In 2018, the Town of East Hampton’s planning board approved a site plan application from Inlet Seafood Inc. that included a proposed 5,520-square-foot icehouse, storage and office building, town records show.

Bryan and Asa Gosman, who are cousins and part owners of Gosman’s Dock, said that 11.6-acre property remains for sale, with no contracts drawn up.

Bryan Gosman, 51, said he and his cousin plan to continue running the seafood operation.

“The ice plant as of now, there’s no plans of it going anywhere,” Gosman said, while acknowledging the future beyond the next few years is harder to predict.

He said their seafood business relies on ice generated on-site, in addition to the proceeds from ice sales to fishing vessels.

The waterfront compound was listed for sale as far back as 2006 for $55 million. Last year, the property was listed for $45 million, Newsday previously reported.

“Even if the business did sell in five or seven years, I can't imagine anyone would want to give up the ice plant anyway,” Gosman said. 

Ice and fuel 

Fishermen say ice is as important as fuel.

Bill Grimm, 71, a recently retired commercial fisherman who was based in Montauk, said he would begin a trip by loading as much as 30 tons of ice onto his boat, Jason & Danielle, from Gosman’s. The process would take about 90 minutes, he said.

You can’t catch the fish and bring them in without ice. 

Bill Grimm, retired fisherman

After a few days at sea, he’d return to the dock at Inlet Seafood where a crew would pump the fish out of the hold to be loaded onto trucks bound for a marketplace — typically Hunts Point Cooperative Market in the Bronx, where Fulton Fish Market is located. 

Richard Jones, who has fished out of Montauk since the 1970s, stood at the stern of his 25-foot boat docked at Inlet Seafood recently and said the ice machine at Gosman’s isn’t always reliable. 

“It becomes a problem,” said Jones, 69, the father-in-law of Amanda Jones.

Bryan Gosman said the machinery sometimes requires a part that’s not immediately available. “Generally, I don’t think we’ve ever been out of ice for more than 48 hours,” he said.

Boyle said local fishermen likely would have to go to ports in nearby states if ice was unavailable. That would lead to increased expenses and less time at sea, he said.

“It will ultimately disincentivize, probably most importantly, fishermen from packing out in New York,” he said.

Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, which isn't affiliated with the effort to build a new ice facility at Inlet Seafood Inc., said losing ice supply would be a “catastrophic issue.”

She added: “The bottom line is if you have a fishing port, you need to have ice — you need to have plentiful quantities of ice. Any port that doesn’t have it is in jeopardy.”

“The bottom line is if you have a fishing port, you need to have ice — you need to have plentiful quantities of ice. Any port that doesn’t have it is in jeopardy.” 

Bonnie Brady, executive director of the LI Commercial Fishing Association

Seeking assistance

The East End Commercial Fishing Association's lobbying effort has caught the attention of local officials.

State Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) and Assemb. Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor) co-wrote letters earlier this month to New York’s congressional representatives in support of the group and its effort to “build a much-needed processing facility and ice house.”

Montauk's fishing fleet as a whole lands between 13 million and 17 million pounds of fish yearly, they said.

Captain Charlie Weimar, right, of the F.V. Rianda S., unloads...

Captain Charlie Weimar, right, of the F.V. Rianda S., unloads his catch at Inlet Seafood in Montauk, April 23, 2024. At left is deckhand Alex Briand, and at center is Carlos Chica, an employee of Inlet Seafood. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Without the ice facility at Gosman’s Dock, “Montauk’s fishing fleet would lose access to its most important land-based asset — ice,” the legislators wrote. 

East Hampton Councilman David Lys acknowledged there is “angst within the commercial fishing industry in East Hampton.”

He said a potential buyer of the Gosman’s property might not find an ice house to be viable for their business model. He said the East End Commercial Fishing Association is taking a proactive approach to stem a potential problem.

There's an “underlying nervousness,” Lys said, about the property's listing for sale.

And if there's no ice, “Where do we go now?” he added.

SBU takes back housing offers … Cannonball train … Stunt pilot Ken Credit: Newsday

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SBU takes back housing offers … Cannonball train … Stunt pilot Ken Credit: Newsday

Man found guilty in death of cousin ... Air Show presser ... What's Trending ... FeedMe: New East End restaurant

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