U.S. seafood consumption drops again

U.S. per-capita seafood consumption dropped to 15 pounds in 2011, according to figures released on Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service. That’s down from 15.8 pounds in 2010 and the second lowest amount in a decade.

However, Americans consumed 4.7 billion pounds of seafood, making the United States second only to China in total seafood consumption.

American consumers also continue to spend more on seafood, an estimated USD 85.9 billion for fishery products in 2011, up from USD 80.2 billion in 2010 and USD 75.5 billion in 2009. Last year, Americans spent USD 57.7 billion at foodservice establishments (up from 54 billion in 2010), USD 27.6 billion at retail (up from USD 25.8 billion in 2010) and USD 625 million (up from USD 432 million) on industrial fish products.

U.S. imports of fishery products in 2011 accounted for 91 percent of seafood consumed and were valued at USD 16.6 billion, down from USD 14.8 billion in 2010. In terms of volume, imports reached 5.3 billion pounds, 108 million pounds more than in 2010.

The quantity of shrimp imported in 2011 was 1.3 billion pounds, 36.4 million pounds more than in 2010. Valued at USD 5.2 billion, shrimp imports accounted for 31 percent of the total value of seafood imports. Imports of fresh and frozen salmon were 504.5 million pounds valued at USD 1.9 billion in 2011. Imports of fresh and frozen tuna were 303.1 million pounds, 123.2 million pounds less than the 426.3 million pounds imported in 2010.

U.S. seafood landings reached a 17-year high in 2011 at 10.1 billion pounds of fish and shellfish. Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska, was the nation’s No. 1 fishing port in terms of volume for the 15th consecutive year, while New Bedford, Mass., was the No. 1 fishing port in terms of value for the 12th straight year.

Exports of U.S. fishery products were 3.3 billion pounds valued at USD 5.4 billion, an increase of 530.4 million pounds and USD 1.1 billion compared to 2010. Fresh and frozen exports were 2.9 billion pounds valued at USD 4.6 billion, up 491.9 million pounds and an increase of USD 871 million compared to the previous year.

Salmon was the U.S.’s top export at 368.1 million pounds valued at USD 621.6 million with surimi and lobster rounding out the top three at 322.1 million pounds valued at USD 344.4 million and 92.1 million pounds valued at USD 520 million, respectively.

To access NOAA’s report, click here.


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