National Fisherman's Melissa Wood shares her stories as a writer and editor covering the U.S. fishing industry.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Stuck in fifth
In 1963 the growth of commercial fishing was a top priority for the industry, which faced stiff competition in its waters from government-subsidized foreign fleets. U.S. investment in its own fleets was seen as part of the solution; it was hoped that the newly launched Massachusetts, a 124-foot steel trawler, would help revitalize the Boston industry.
Since then U.S. landings have doubled, from 4.8 billion in 1963 to 9.9 billion in 2011 (the most recent year statistics are available). The world’s top fleets have changed too. In 1963, the United States was #5 in the list of top fishing countries, preceded by No. 1 Peru, Japan, China and the Soviet Union. In 2011, the countries with the biggest catches (which includes aquaculture) were led by China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and the United States.
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