November 4, 2016
Americans ate 1 lb. more seafood in 2015
The average American added nearly 1 extra pound of seafood to their diet year in 2015, reflecting another above-average year for US fishing and seafood consumption, according to the annual "Fisheries of the United States" report released last week by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The report showed that the average American ate 15.5 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2015, a 0.9 pound increase from last year. US dietary guidelines recommend eating 8-12 ounces of seafood each week for a healthy diet.
NOAA also said that US fishermen landed 9.7 billion pounds of fish and shellfish valued at $5.2 billion, a volume and value similar to recent years. The highest-value US commercial species were lobster ($679.2 million), crab ($678.7 million), shrimp ($488.4 million), salmon ($460.2 million) and Alaska (walleye) pollock ($441.7 million).
By volume, the nation's largest commercial fishery remains Alaska (walleye) pollock, which had landings of 3.3 billion pounds (up 4% from last year), trailed by Atlantic and Gulf menhaden, which accounted for 1.6 billion pounds (up 29%).
The report showed that for the 19th consecutive year, the Alaska port of Dutch Harbor led the nation with the highest amount of seafood landed--787 million pounds, valued at $218 million. New Bedford, Massachusetts, had the highest valued catch from one port--$322 million for 124 million pounds, due mostly to the high price sea scallops fetch on the market, which accounted for more than 76% of this value.
As the aquaculture figures for 2015 were not yet available, NOAA cited those for 2014, when the industry's top-produced marine species including oysters, clams and Atlantic salmon generated 608 million pounds of seafood valued at $1.3 billion. This equated to 6% of the volume and 20% of the value of total US production of fishery products, NOAA said.
Read the report here.