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U.S. seafood consumption up for 2006

Americans ate 16.5 pounds of fish and shellfish per person in 2006, a two percent increase over the 2005 consumption figure of 16.2 pounds, according to a study released by NOAA Fisheries Service. The increase brings seafood consumption up to slightly under the 2004 record of 16.6 pounds

July 16, 2007

U.S. seafood consumption up for 2006

 

 

Americans ate 16.5 pounds of fish and shellfish per person in 2006, a two percent increase over the 2005 consumption figure of 16.2 pounds, according to a study released by NOAA Fisheries Service. The increase brings seafood consumption up to slightly under the 2004 record of 16.6 pounds.

 

Americans consumed a total of 4.9 billion pounds of seafood in 2006. The nation imports roughly 83 percent of its seafood and remains the third largest global consumer of fish and shellfish, behind Japan and China.

 

“The National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2007 would provide American consumers with greater choice and confidence in the sustainability and safety of their seafood selections,” said Bill Hogarth, director of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. “This legislation is an important step toward increasing our supply of home-grown seafood.”

 

The United Nations is projecting a 40 million ton global seafood shortage by 2030, unless something is done. While NOAA works to end overfishing and rebuild wild stocks, the United States still needs aquaculture to narrow the trade gap and to keep up with consumer demand.

 

Of the total 16.5 pounds consumed per person, Americans consumed a record 12.3 pounds of fresh and frozen finfish and shellfish, up 0.7 pounds from last year. Canned  seafood  consumption dropped 0.4 pounds to 3.9 pounds per capita. A record 5.2 pounds of fillets and steaks were consumed, up 0.2 pounds.

 

Shrimp continues to be the top consumed seafood in the United States at a record 4.4 pounds of shrimp consumed in 2006, up 0.3 pounds from 2005.

 

Increased seafood consumption is due in part to the growth in imports of farmed fish and shellfish. The United States can become more self-sufficient at producing seafood with expanded aquaculture, the topic of legislation currently pending in Congress.

 

NOAA Fisheries’ calculation of per capita consumption is based on a “disappearance” model. The total U.S. supply is calculated as the sum of imports and landings minus exports, converted to edible weight. This total is divided by the total U.S. population to estimate per capita consumption.

 

NOAA Fisheries has been calculating the nation’s seafood consumption rates since

1910 to keep consumers and the industry informed about trends in seafood consumption and trade.

 

More information: NOAA Fisheries Service Statistics

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