National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

Top 5 Mixed Catch Stories

If seafood consumption were an Olympic sport, America would have to settle for the bronze medal.

The average American downed 16.3 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2007 versus 16.5 pounds in 2006, a one percent drop, according to NMFS' annual report, Fisheries of the United States, which the agency released this week. Overall, Americans chowed on 4.908 billion pounds of seafood in 2007, a tad less than the 4.944 billion pounds eaten in 2006.

The 4.9 billion pounds made the United States the third largest consumer of fish and shellfish, behind China and Japan. China might be tough to overtake; the country has an estimated 1.3 billion people to work with, whereas we've got an estimated 301.1 million people. Heck, the average Chinese citizen need only eat about 3.8 pounds of seafood to equal our output.

But we've got more people to work with than there are in Japan, whose population is an estimated 127.4 million. However, Japan's diet is largely fish because, well, it's primarily what's available to them. Us Americans are too distracted by the smorgasbord of Big Macs, stuffed-crust pizzas and buffalo chicken wings to properly focus on eating as much seafood as we should.

Hence, we sit in third place in global seafood consumption.

America settling for bronze? I think not.

The truth is that American seafood consumption has been hovering around 16 pounds per person for a number of years. It might go up a little one year, down a little the next, but it's always right around 16 pounds.

I think if we dedicate ourselves to the task, we can bring home the gold. It'll mean finding ways to make seafood a higher priority than the myriad fast food options open to Americans. As we develop ways to make seafood a quick, tasty and convenient (not to mention healthy) choice for Americans on the go, we can boost U.S. seafood consumption to new Olympic heights.

Dare to dream, people, and keep your eyes on the prize.

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

Read more...

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...
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