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Americans eating more seafood than ever before — NOAA survey

Americans eating more seafood than ever before — NOAA survey

Americans eating more seafood than ever before — NOAA survey
NOAA news release
November 14, 2005

Nov. 9, 2005 — Seafood consumption rose for the third straight year in 2004, as Americans ate a record 16.6 pounds of fish and shellfish per person, the NOAA Fisheries Service announced today. This and more agency data will be officially released next week in the 2004 edition of its annual publication, “Fisheries of the United States.”

This is the third year in a row that U.S. per capita seafood consumption has increased [PDF from NOAA]. The 2004 figure is up from 16.3 pounds per person in 2003, an increase of two percent. In 2001 the rate was 14.8 pounds per person, and in 2002 it was 15.6 pounds per person.

“Seafood is a safe and healthy food choice for all Americans and, as this trend shows, the demand keeps rising,” said Bill Hogarth, director of the NOAA Fisheries Service. “The administration’s National Offshore Aquaculture bill is one way to meet this demand with seafood that is either harvested or grown right here in the United States.”

Of the total 16.6 pounds consumed per person, a record 11.8 pounds were fresh and frozen finfish and shellfish, up 0.4 pounds from last year. Canned seafood consumption dropped 0.1 pounds to 4.5 pounds per capita. These rates reflect a continuing trend toward fresh and frozen seafood consumption. In 2000, Americans consumed 10.2 pounds of fresh and frozen seafood and 4.7 pounds of canned seafood per capita.

Image courtesy of NOAA.

Shrimp continues to be a favorite among American seafood eaters. A record 4.2 pounds of shrimp were consumed per person last year, up 0.2 pounds from 2003. Another record figure was consumption of fillets and steaks, up 0.3 pounds to 4.6 pounds per person. Conversely, canned tuna consumption fell 0.1 pounds to 3.3 pounds per person. A total of 4.8 billion pounds of seafood was consumed in the U.S. in 2004.

The NOAA Fisheries Service’s calculation of per capita consumption is based on a
“disappearance” model. The total U.S. supply is calculated as the sum of imports and landings minus exports, converted to edible weight. This total is divided by the total U.S. population to estimate per capita consumption.

NOAA Fisheries Service has been calculating the nation’s seafood consumption rates since 1910 to keep consumers and the industry informed. This information is published every year in the NOAA Fisheries Service annual report, “Fisheries of the United States,” which will be available on the NOAA Fisheries Service Web site upon publication next week.

The NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving the nation’s living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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This is a news release from NOAA. The original version appears at SEAFOOD CONSUMPTION REACHES RECORD LEVELS IN 2004

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