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Imports boost shrimp to lead record gain in U.S. seafood consumption

Americans consumed a record amount of seafood in 2003; increases are largely attributed to imports, which now account for 78 percent of US consumption

October 6, 2004

Americans consumed a record amount of seafood in 2003, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, climbing from 15.6 pounds per person in 2002 to 16.3 pounds in 2003. (The previous record of 16.2 lbs. per capita was set in 1987.)

The increases are largely attributed to imports, which now account for 78 percent of US consumption, according to NOAA. The National Fisheries Institute, which releases the annual Top Ten list of America’s favorite seafoods, said the imports reflected increased consumer demand because of seafood’s heart-healthy reputation, the popularity of high-protein diets, and the abundant supply and attractive pricing of many farmed species.

“More and more health professionals are encouraging Americans to eat fish because of its positive health benefits,” said NFI President John Connelly. “We are encouraged that American families are enjoying seafood’s variety --- and the great ways it helps our healthy lifestyles.”

Shrimp once again led the most-popular seafood list, climbing from a previous record 3.7 pounds per person in 2002 to 4.0 pounds in 2003. Consumption of tilapia, a farmed white fish popular in restaurant entrees and sandwiches, climbed by over a tenth of a pound to become the eighth most-popular seafood.

Canned tuna consumption increased by 0.3 lb. per capita, and salmon consumption rose about 0.2 lb. The U.S. imports almost 90% of its shrimp, just over two-thirds of which is farmed; most of the salmon and catfish consumed in the country is also farmed.

The Top Ten list was compiled for the National Fisheries Institute by H.M. Johnson & Associates, publishers of the Annual Report on the United States Seafood Industry. Data for this list came from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

 

Top Ten Seafoods 2001-2003

2001
2002
2003
Shrimp 3.400 lbs. Shrimp 3.7 lbs. Shrimp 4.0
Canned Tuna 2.900 Canned Tuna 3.1 Canned Tuna 3.4
Salmon 2.023 Salmon 2.021 Salmon 2.219
Pollock 1.207 Pollock 1.557** Pollock 1.706
Catfish* 1.044 Catfish* 1.103 Catfish 1.137
Cod 0.557 Cod .658 Cod .644
Clams 0.465 Crabs .568 Crab .609
Crabs 0.437 Clams .545 Tilapia .541
Flatfish 0.387 Tilapia .401 Clams .525
Tilapia 0.348 Flatfish .317 Scallops .330
Scallops 0.342 Scallops .313 Flatfish .323

Notes:

*Catfish consumption has been re-calculated to reflect the change in U.S. law that prohibits imported “catfish” from being called catfish.

**Adjusted

Calculations no longer reflect inventory adjustments as NMFS no longer reports cold storage holdings.

The Top Ten list was compiled for the National Fisheries Institute by H.M. Johnson & Associates, publishers of the Annual Report on the United States Seafood Industry. Data for this list came from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The USDC/NOAA news release along with 1998, 2002 and 2003 summaries of consumption for edible meat (fresh/frozen, canned, cured); canned fishery products (salmon, sardines, tuna, shellfish, other) and certain fishery items (Fillets/steaks, sticks/portions, shrimp) are on the web
at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter

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