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Reports

U.S. Seafood Consumption Declines Slightly in 2009

The average American ate 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2009, a slight decline from the 2008 consumption figure of 16.0 pounds, according to a new NOAA Fisheries Service report

September 16, 2010


U.S. Seafood Consumption Declines Slightly in 2009

The average American ate 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2009, a slight decline from the 2008 consumption figure of 16.0 pounds, according to a new NOAA Fisheries Service report.

The U.S. continues as the third-ranked country for consuming fish and shellfish, behind China and Japan. In total, Americans consumed a total of 4.833 billion pounds of seafood in 2009, slightly less than the 4.858 billion pounds in 2008.

Shrimp remained the top seafood item of choice for the United States at 4.1 pounds per person, a level unchanged since 2007.

The average 15.8 pounds consumed per person in 2009 was composed of 11.8 pounds of fresh and frozen finfish and shellfish, 3.7 pounds of canned seafood, primarily canned tuna, and 0.3 pounds of cured seafood, such as smoked salmon and dried cod. The overall decline in average consumption per American was due to a decrease in canned seafood consumed.

“With one of the highest consumption rates in the world, the U.S. has the ability to affect the world fish trade,” said Eric Schwaab, NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “NOAA supports rebuilding and sustaining wild fisheries populations and building a strong aquaculture program that can help the U.S. fishing industry gain a larger share of the U.S. market. Americans should know that buying American seafood supports our economy, as well as the high environmental and safety standards our fishermen meet.”

Most of the seafood consumed in the U.S. was not caught in U.S. waters. About 84 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, a dramatic increase from the 66 percent just a decade ago.

Farmed seafood, or aquaculture, comprises almost half of the imported seafood. Aquaculture production outside the U.S. has expanded dramatically in the last three decades and now supplies half of the world’s seafood demand, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

America’s aquaculture industry, though vibrant and diverse, currently meets less than ten percent of U.S. demand for seafood. Most of the U.S. aquaculture industry is catfish, with marine aquaculture products like oysters, clams, mussels and salmon supplying less than two percent of American seafood demand.

“This report demonstrates there is room for the U.S. aquaculture industry to grow,” said Schwaab. “NOAA is working to develop a new national policy for sustainable marine aquaculture that will help us narrow the trade gap and strengthen the entire fishing industry in this country.”

NOAA’s Fisheries Service 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. The information is published every year in NOAA’s Fisheries Service annual report, Fisheries of the United States is now available online.

The entire publication is available for download or you may view individual chapters:

Cover, Preface, Table of Contents, and Review

U.S. COMMERCIAL FISHERY LANDINGS
Species
Disposition
Regions and States
Ports
Catch by species and distance from shore
U.S. Landings for Territorial Possessions
U.S. Aquaculture Estimated Production
Top 10 Recreational and Commercial Species

U.S. MARINE RECREATIONAL FISHERIES
Review
Harvest by species
Harvest by mode of fishing and species group
Harvest by distance-from-shore and species group
Harvest and total live releases by species group
Finfish harvest and releases by state
Number of anglers and trips by state

WORLD FISHERIES
World Aquaculture & Commercial Catches
Countries, Continents & Oceans
Species groups & Disposition
Imports and exports, by leading countries

U.S. PRODUCTION OF PROCESSED FISHERY PRODUCTS
Review
Value
Fish sticks, fish portions, and breaded shrimp
Fillets and steaks
Canned
Industrial

FOREIGN TRADE
Review
U.S. IMPORTS:
Principal items
Edible and nonedible
Continent and country
Groundfish fillets and steaks, species & Blocks
Canned tuna and quota
Shrimp, country of origin
Shrimp, by product type
Industrial
U.S. EXPORTS:
Principal items
Edible and nonedible
Continent and country
Shrimp and Lobster
Salmon and Surimi
Crab
Industrial

U.S. SUPPLY
Edible and nonedible
Finfish and shellfish
Blocks, fillets and steaks
Tuna, fresh and frozen
Canned sardines, salmon, tuna
Crab, king, snow, crabmeat
Lobster
Clams, oysters, scallops
Shrimp
Industrial

PER CAPITA
Review
U.S. consumption
Consumption by product
World consumption-by region and country
U.S. use

VALUE ADDED
FAQ Sheet for the Value Added Table

INDUSTRY INFORMATION
INDEX OF EXVESSEL PRICES
Review
PROCESSORS AND WHOLESALERS
Processors and wholesalers: plants and employment
FISHERY PRODUCTS INSPECTION
 

GENERAL INFORMATION
MAGNUSON-STEVENS FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT ACT (MSFCMA)
General
Regional Fishery Management Councils
Optimum yield, U.S. capacity, reserve, and allocations
GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION
Headquarters
Regions
Statistical offices
PUBLICATIONS
SERVICES
NMFS web sites
Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service
GLOSSARY
FEDERAL INSPECTION MARKS FOR FISHERY PRODUCTS
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