NFI’s new top 10 list of America’s favorite seafood species points to upward consumption trend

Seafood consumption is still trending positively in the United States, according to the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), which released its updated top 10 most consumed seafood species list on Thursday, 2 November. 

Americans consumed 14.9 pounds of seafood per capita in 2016, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) latest U.S. fisheries report revealed. While that number is slightly lower than figures seen in 2015, when Americans consumed 15.5 pounds of seafood per capita, the overarching trend observed in national consumption data spanning back to the early 2010s shows a positive trajectory, NFI reasoned. 

“If you look at 2013 (14.5 lbs.), 2014 (14.6 lbs.), put 2015 (15.5 lbs.) with its unusually large salmon harvest in perspective and now look at 2016 (14.9 lbs.) the trend is clear and convincing. Americans are eating more seafood,” said Rima Kleiner, MS, RD, registered dietitian at NFI and Dish on Fish blogger. “The public health community looks for trends to chart and forecast dietary impacts and as trends go this is a positive one.”    

The list of most consumed species in the United States features the usual suspects in the top slots – shrimp (4.10 lbs.), salmon (2.18 lbs.) and canned tuna (2.10 lbs.). The dip in salmon consumption – from 2.87 pounds in 2015 to 2.18 pounds in 2016 –  is “characteristic of cyclical harvest numbers and not a reflection of preferences,” said NFI. “In fact all species maintained the same spot in the rankings in comparison to the year before with shrimp retaining the top spot,” the organization noted.

A growth in seafood consumption overall should be encouraging for pregnant and breastfeeding women, said Kleiner. Experts have recommended that this demographic increase their seafood intake as a means to aid in baby brain and eye development. 


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