U.S. seafood consumption down slightly

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — Seafood consumption was down slightly in 2007 as the average American ate 16.3 lbs of fish and shellfish, which was down 1% from the previous year, according to a study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A.).

Americans as a whole consumed 4.908 billion lbs of seafood in 2007, which was down slightly from 4.944 in 2006. Shrimp was the most popular seafood choice with the average person eating 4.1 lbs, down slightly from 2006 levels.

The United States is ranked the third largest consumer of fish and shellfish with China and Japan coming in first and second. The U.S. imports about 84% of its seafood, but a decade ago the country only imported about 63%.

"While N.O.A.A. works to end overfishing and rebuild wild fish stocks, the U.S. also needs more sustainable domestic aquaculture to help meet consumer demand for healthy seafood and narrow the foreign trade gap," said Jim Balsiger, acting N.O.A.A. assistant administrator for the N.O.A.A.’s Fisheries Service. "The National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2007, pending before Congress, would provide a clear permitting process for businesses and individuals to develop safe, sustainable aquaculture in U.S. federal waters."

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