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Seafood consumption up in America

US - Not all at one sitting perhaps, but each of us ate an average of 16.5 pounds of seafood in 2006, according to a study released late Thursday by the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

That represents a two percent increase over 2005 consumption, but remains just under the record amount of 16.6 pounds per person in 2004, the e-mailed release from the U.S. Department of Commerce continues.

Of the 4.9 billion pounds of seafood consumed by Americans in 2006, about 83 percent of it was imported, the department adds.

According to the NOAA study, on average each of us gobbled down a record 12.3 pounds of fresh and frozen finfish and shellfish, up 0.7 pounds from the year before. Canned seafood consumption dropped 0.4 percent to 3.9 pounds per person.