New York City is the primary travel destination in the state, with over 35.2 million visitors a year. New York City alone brings in $39 billion in revenue, and has supported 291,977 jobs in tourism in 2004. Over the centuries, the coastline of New York City has been a sparkling natural resource, a setting for commerce and industry, and a place for housing and recreation. Spanning a stretch of 520 miles the New York coastline is larger than those of Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco combined. Second to New York City as a magnet for tourists comes Long Island, with its beaches, racetracks, and other recreational facilities. Northwest of the Adirondacks, in the St. Lawrence River, are the Thousand Islands; 1,800 small islands extending over some 50 miles that popular among freshwater fishermen and summer vacationers.
For the economic develop of New York fishing, although an attraction for tourists and sportsmen, plays only a marginal role. The Atlantic commercial catch in 2004 by New York fishermen was 33.7 million pounds valued at 46.4 million. The Great Lakes catch the same year came in at a value of only $11,000. Clams and oysters are the important species for commercial use in the state, with New York being the second ranked state in the nation for volume of surf clams, while it is ranked third for soft clams. Virtually all of New York’s commercial fishing takes place in the Atlantic waters off Long Island. Montauk, on the eastern end of Long Island, is the state’s leading fishing port. In 2003, there were 6 processing and 271 wholesale plants in the state with about 2,154 employees. However, pollution and poor wildlife management have seriously endangered the state’s commercial and sport fishing in the ocean, rivers, and lake, leading to the fishing of several species being banned.