Much of what we eat is caught internationally

Incredibly, 91 percent of the seafood U.S. consumers eat is now imported. NOAA released the 2011 statistics on US fish consumption, summarized in this article.

“The report shows that the average American ate 15 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2011, less than the 2010 figure of 15.8 pounds. Altogether, Americans consumed 4.7 billion pounds of seafood, making the U.S. second only to China in seafood consumption.

Gulf of Mexico menhaden. Gulf of Mexico menhaden. (Credit: NOAA)

In 2011, about 91 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. was imported, up five percent from 2010. However, a portion of this imported seafood is caught by American fishermen, exported overseas for processing and then re-imported to the U.S. The top three imports are shrimp, canned tuna, and tilapia fillet.

Almost half of imported seafood comes from aquaculture, or farmed seafood. America’s aquaculture industry currently meets less than five percent of U.S. seafood demand, producing primarily oysters, clams, mussels, and some finfish, including salmon.” Read more here.


Here’s a recent article “Seafood Sleuthing Reveals Pervasive Fish Fraud” from NPR that warns that lots of fish sold is actually mislabeled–from Dec. 11th, 2012.



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