US seafood landings remain high

30 Oct 2013
The report also shows that the average American ate 14.4 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2012, a 4% drop from the 2011 figure of 15 pounds. Altogether, Americans consumed 4.5 billion pounds of seafood. Credit: NOAA

The report also shows that the average American ate 14.4 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2012, a 4% drop from the 2011 figure of 15 pounds. Altogether, Americans consumed 4.5 billion pounds of seafood. Credit: NOAA

NOAA has released its annual 'Fisheries of the United States 2012' report, which shows that US commercial fishermen landed 9.6 billion pounds of fish and shellfish in 2012, valued at $5.1 billion.

This is a small decrease from the high level of landings and value in 2011, but remains higher than the average for the previous 10 years of 9.2 billion pounds and a value of $4.1 billion.

"Healthy, sustainable fish and shellfish stocks are incredibly important to our nation's social and economic fabric," said Sam Rauch, acting assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. "The high landings and value of seafood in 2012 support the three-decade long effort that has gone into ending overfishing in the US.”

The report also shows that the Alaska port of Dutch Harbor had highest amount of fish landed for the 16th consecutive year - Dutch Harbor fishers landed 752 million pounds, up from 706 million pounds in 2011.

For the 13th consecutive year, New Bedford, Mass., had the highest valued catch, due mostly to the highly valued sea scallop fishery.

The report also found that while the commercial and recreational trends remain high, aquaculture contributes only 5% of production. Washington and Maine lead the nation in marine finfish farming, primarily Atlantic salmon. Washington, Virginia and Louisiana lead in shellfish farming.

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