National Fisherman

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.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is required by state statute to appoint someone to the Board of Fisheries by today, Tuesday, May 19. However, his efforts to fill the seat have gone unfulfilled since he took office in January. The seven-member board serves as an in-state fishery management council for fisheries in state waters.

The resignation of Walker’s director of Boards and Commissions, Karen Gillis, fanned the flames of controversy late last week.

Read more...

Keith Decker, president and COO of High Liner Foods, will take over for the outgoing CEO, Harry Demone, who will assume the role as chairman of the board of directors. The Lunenburg, Nova Scotia-based seafood supplier boasts sales in excess of $310 million (American) for the first quarter of the year.

Read more...
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