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Weekly Overview: US Seafood Consumption on the Up

1 November 2016, at 12:00am

A new report from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has found that US seafood consumption is making a steady increase.

2015 was another above-average year for consumption, with the average American eating 15.5 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2015, a 0.9 pound increase from last year.

The report, Fisheries of the United States, also noted that US fishermen landed 9.7 billion pounds of fish and shellfish valued at $5.2 billion, a volume and value similar to recent years.

By volume, the nation's largest commercial fishery remains Alaska (walleye) pollock, which had landings of 3.3 billion pounds (up 4 per cent from last year), followed by Atlantic and Gulf menhaden, which accounted for 1.6 billion pounds (up 29 per cent).

"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.

In fisheries news, the world's largest marine protected area has been set up in the Southern Ocean.

Members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) agreed to safeguard 1.55 million km2 of the Ross Sea, offering protection to one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the world.

In other news, reporting for The Fish Site, Bonnie Waycott investigated the development of odourless fish in Japan.

Various universities in Japan are making changes to fish feed and packaging in order to reduce odour.

Kochi University is adding citrus fruit peel and juice to fish feed resulting in an increase of limonene concentration, a substance responsible for the aroma of citrus fruit, to 20 times larger than the minimum level humans can smell.

"If artificial farming techniques can help create more tasty fish, the value of cultured fish will rise and the fisheries industry will be revitalised," said Associate Professor Haruhisa Fukada. "It would be great to see fruit fish being enjoyed by those who normally don't like seafood."

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