Port Salerno was in 1894 under another name and finally incorporated in 1921. It was named after immigrants from the Italian town of Salerno who settled in the area in the early 1900s. Industry in the area centered on fishing and pineapple farms.
In the 1930s the shark industry was prevalent and commercial fishing has had a strong presence ever since, supplying all of the waterfront restaurants with fresh catch. When fishing with large nets was banned in 1995, the number of commercial fishermen in the area dwindled from 253 to just 40.
Manatee Pocket is a sheltered bay off the Intracoastal and Okeechobee Waterways. Boaters in this location can boat westward through the state of Florida via Lake Okeechobee to Fort Myers or access the Atlantic Ocean and travel internationally to the Bahamas and Caribbean islands. After a recent dredging project, the channel is now navigable to large boats again and the pocket is home to the historic fishing village of Port Salerno.