Across the nation, the U.S. fishing industry landed 9.7 billion lb. of fish and shellfish valued at $5.2 billion — a volume and value similar to recent years.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued the "Fisheries of the U.S., 2015" report, which provides data on U.S. recreational catch and commercial fisheries landings and value as well as other aspects of U.S. commercial fishing. In addition, data are reported on the U.S. fishery processing industry, imports and exports of fishery-related products and domestic supply and per capita consumption of fishery products.
According to the report, the highest-value U.S. commercial species were lobsters ($679.2 million), crabs ($678.7 million), shrimp ($488.4 million), salmon ($460.2 million) and Alaska (walleye) pollock ($441.7 million). By volume, Alaska (walleye) pollock is the nation's largest commercial fishery, with landings of 3.3 billion lb. (up 4% from last year), trailed by Atlantic and Gulf menhaden, which accounted for 1.6 billion lb. (up 29%).
"Fishing and seafood is big business for our country. Marine and coastal fisheries contribute billions of dollars to the national economy, support 1.8 million jobs and keep our ports and waterways open for business," said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries. "Thanks to long-standing legislation and continued innovation in fisheries science and management, we are seeing real returns on our nation's efforts to end overfishing and make our fisheries more sustainable."
The report also shows that the average American ate 15.5 lb. of fish and shellfish in 2015, a 0.9 lb. increase from last year. U.S. dietary guidelines recommend eating 8-12 oz. of seafood each week for a healthy diet.
Aquaculture figures for 2015 are not yet available, but for perspective, the U.S. aquaculture industry, whose top-produced marine species include oysters, clams and Atlantic salmon, generated 608 million lb. of seafood valued at $1.3 billion in 2014. This equates to 20% of the value and 6% of the volume of total U.S. production of fishery products.
For more facts and figures or to read the report, visit the report website.