U.S. seafood consumption falls again

U.S. per-capita seafood consumption totaled 15.8 pounds last year, according to figures released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service on Thursday. That’s down from 16 pounds in 2008 and 2009 and the lowest amount since 2002’s 15.6 pounds.

However, Americans are spending more on fish. According to NOAA’s Fisheries of the United States 2010 report, Americans dished out USD 80.2 billion on seafood last year — USD 54 billion at foodservice and USD 25.8 billion at retail, with industrial seafood products representing USD 432 million.

In 2009, Americans spent USD 75.5 billion on seafood — USD 50.3 billion at foodservice and USD 23.8 billion at retail, with industrial seafood products accounting for USD 1.4 billion.

As for U.S. seafood landings, they reached 8.2 billion pounds, or 3.7 million metric tons, valued at USD 4.5 billion in 2010, up 2.5 percent and 16 percent, respectively, from 2009.

Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska, was the nation’s No. 1 fishing port in terms of volume for the 22nd consecutive year at 515.2 million pounds (up from 506.3 million pounds in 2009), while New Bedford, Mass., was the No. 1 fishing port in terms of value for the 11th straight year at USD 306 million (up from 249.2 million in 2009).

The majority of the U.S. seafood supply is imported — 86 percent in 2010, the same as in 2009. U.S. imports of edible seafood products amounted to 5.5 billion pounds valued at USD 14.8 billion in 2010, up 294.8 million pounds and USD 1.7 billion from 2009.

U.S. exports of edible seafood products came to 2.7 billion pounds valued at USD 4.4 billion in 2010, up 185.4 million pounds and USD 399.5 million from 2009.

To access NOAA’s report, click here.

In a few days, the National Fisheries Institute will release its top 10 list of America’s favorite seafood products, based on NOAA’s data. In 2009, top eight spots on the list remained unchanged from 2008, with shrimp leading the way at 4.1 pounds per capita. However, pangasius made the top 10 list for the first time in 2009.


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