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New Report Highlights Trends, Insights in the US Seafood Industry

Lucy Towers
24 April 2015, at 1:00am

US - With its large commercial fishing areas in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, the US was the fourth largest harvester of wild caught seafood in the world in 2013 and is one of the most important markets for seafood, according to the United States Seafood Market Report.

The new report from Islandsbanki, released last week at Seafood Global Expo, provides insights into key trends and issues shaping the US seafood industry.

During the past 20 years, total landings averaged 4.3 million MT and landings increased by 5.6 per cent to 4.5 million MT in 2013.

The total value of the US catch has also increased steadily since the early 2000's, reaching $5.5 billion in 2013.

Investigating the US's Pacific coast, the report notes that the Pacific region is the US's largest fishing area and one of the largest in the world.

The total volume of fish harvested off the US Pacific coast averaged over 3,086,440 tons (2.8 million MT) during the past five years and the total volume has generally been increasing during this period, primarily due to an increase in the total allowable catch for pollock.

In line with the increasing volume, the total value also rose by 48 per cent from $1.9 billion in 2009 to $2.8 billion in 2013.

For the US Atlantic coast, total volume of fish harvested averaged around 738,541 tons (670,000 MT) during the past five years.

Despite relatively stable volumes, the total value of the US Atlantic harvest rose by 37 per cent from approximately $1.4 billion in 2009 to $1.9 billion in 2012 due to rising scallop prices and an increase in the lobster catch.

Total value then fell by six per cent in 2013 due to a decline in scallop landings.

Seafood Trade

The US is the fifth largest exporting country and the second largest importer of seafood. The country also imports approximately 90 per cent of its seafood, about half of which is from aquaculture.

The last few years have seen a rapid growth in seafood imports from $11.4 billion in 2004 to $20.6 billion in 2014, an increase of 81 per cent.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.