A federal report says the United States imported more seafood last year than in 2015, suggesting growth potential for the national aquaculture industry, reports Associated Press.
Seafood imports rose 1 percent to 5.8 billion pounds, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in the annual Fisheries of the United States report, with salmon and shrimp among the most imported species.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who oversees NOAA, said the rise in imports should be a motivator to grow the aquaculture sector in the U.S.
“Expanding our nation’s aquaculture capacity presents an opportunity to reduce America’s reliance on imports, while creating thousands of new jobs,” Ross said.
Average fish consumption
U.S. commercial fishermen landed 9.6 billion pounds of seafood last year, a decrease of 1.5 percent from 2015. But the catch was valued at $5.3 billion, a 2.1 percent increase, the report said.
The largest wild, commercial fishery in America remains the Alaska pollock, which came close to a record year in terms of catch volume. Fishermen brought 3.4 billion pounds of the fish to the docks last year, up 3 percent from 2015.
The average American ate almost 15 pounds of fish and shellfish last year, slightly down from 2015, when they ate 15.5 pounds, the report stated.