Crab landings. (Photo Credit:ADFG)
High seafood landings in 2012 show successful sustainable efforts: NOAA
Friday, November 01, 2013, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
A new report released by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) reveals that the US seafood landings and value in 2012 experienced just a slight fall compared to the high landing and value levels a year earlier.
NOAA's annual report Fisheries of the United States 2012 describes that that year a total of 9.6 billion pounds of both shellfish and fish were landed by US commercial fishermen worth USD 5.1 billion. These figures are higher than the average recorded for the past ten years at 9.2 billion pounds worth USD 4.1 billion.
Finfish represented 86 per cent of the total landings but were only 47 per cent of the value.
Dutch Harbor, in Alaska, had the highest amount of fish landed, mainly walleye pollock. 752 million pounds were landed in this port, compared to 706 million pounds in 2011. And the highest valued catch was represented by New Bedford, Massachusetts, due mostly to the highly valued sea scallop fishery.
“Healthy, sustainable fish and shellfish stocks are incredibly important to our nation’s social and economic fabric,” expressed Sam Rauch, acting NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries.
Rauch considered that these high landings and value are proof of the efforts to put an end to overfishing that have been made for three decades in the US.
"Thanks to our partners, the regional fishery management councils and especially US fishermen, we now have some of the most responsibly managed, sustainable fisheries in the world,” the administrator added.
The report highlights that not only commercial fishing activities remain high, recreational ones have also showed a rising trend.
About 9.4 million saltwater anglers performed over 70 million marine fishing trips in 2012 and caught almost 380 million fish, releasing 63 percent alive.
On the other hand, aquaculture has represented only a small contribution, 5 per cent production.
The US farming activities were led by Washington and Maine with finfish and Atlantic salmon centres. In the case of shellfish farming, the leaders were Washington, Virginia and Louisiana.
The report also states that in 2012 that average American seafood consumption of fish and shellfish was 14.4 pounds per capita, a 4 per cent decrease when compared to the previous year, when the amount was 15.0 pounds.
By Gabriela Raffaele