US fishermen landed 9.5 billion pounds of fish and shellfish, valued at $5.4 billion, in 2014, according to the new edition of NOAA Fisheries’ annual report, Fisheries of the United States 2014.
These figures are similar to those from 2013; both the volume and value continue to remain higher than the average for the past five years.
The report shows the total landings for pollock was up five per cent since 2013 to 3.1 billion pounds, valued at $400 million.
The report also shows that for the 18th consecutive year, the Alaska port of Dutch Harbor led the nation with the highest amount of seafood landed — 761.8 million pounds, valued at $191.4 million.
The Dutch Harbor catch was primarily walleye pollock, which accounted for 87 per cent of the volume.
“Sustainable fisheries generate billions of dollars for our economy, help keep saltwater recreational fishing as one of our nation’s favorite past times, and help coastal communities remain economically resilient,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries.
“Seafood is big business in our country, and NOAA will continue to work as hard as we can to manage America’s fisheries, so our fishermen can continue to provide this important food source for all of us.”
For the 15th consecutive year, New Bedford, Massachusetts, had the highest valued catch — $328.8 million for 140 million pounds — due mostly to the high price sea scallops fetch on the market. Sea scallops accounted for more than 76.6 per cent of the value of New Bedford landings.
Marine aquaculture production in the US has been steadily increasing in recent years, about 5 per cent a year from 2008 to 2013. US marine aquaculture production has an estimated value of $403 million. Figures for 2014 are not yet available.
The report also shows that the average American ate 14.6 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2014, essentially unchanged from 2013.
You can view the full report by clicking here.