2015 was another above-average year for fishing and seafood consumption, with the average American adding nearly an extra pound of seafood to their diet, according to the annual Fisheries of the United States report released today by NOAA.
Across the nation, U.S. fishermen landed 9.7 billion pounds of fish and shellfish valued at $5.2 billion, a volume and value similar to recent years. The highest value U.S. commercial species were lobster ($679.2 million), crab ($678.7 million), shrimp ($488.4 million), salmon ($460.2 million), and Alaska (walleye) pollock ($441.7 million). By volume, the nation’s largest commercial fishery remains Alaska (walleye) pollock, which had landings of 3.3 billion pounds (up 4 percent from last year), trailed by Atlantic and Gulf menhaden, which accounted for 1.6 billion pounds (up 29 percent).
“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. “Thanks to longstanding legislation and continued innovation in fisheries science and management, we are seeing real returns on our nation’s efforts to end overfishing and make our fisheries more sustainable.”