NOAA 99-049
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Scott Smullen
7/12/99

AMERICANS ATE MORE SEAFOOD IN 1998

Seafood consumption in the United States increased 3.7 percent, with Americans consuming 4.01 billion pounds of domestic and imported seafood in 1998 - or 14.9 pounds per person, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today.

Officials from NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service said that the per capita consumption level of 14.9 pounds per person represents an increase of 0.3 pound from the 1997 level.

Of the 14.9 pounds of seafood consumed per person, 10.2 pounds were fresh or frozen fish or shellfish, 4.4 pounds were canned seafood, and 0.3 pounds of seafood was cured. Compared to 1997 figures, that represents a 0.3 pound increase in the fresh/frozen products.

The consumption of shrimp (all preparation) achieved a record 2.8 pounds consumed per person. Also, farm-raised catfish consumption reached 1.0 pound per person for the first time.

Total U.S. supply of edible fishery products on a round-weight basis was up 11.2 percent in 1998. While U.S. landings for human consumption declined by 1.0 percent, imported fish and shellfish increased 7.7 percent in 1998, comprising 63 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States. U.S. exports declined by 14.3 percent. Inventories of frozen seafood in cold storage remained relatively stable, rising 0.3 percent over the 1997 level.

TABLE FOLLOWS:

 PER CAPITA U.S. CONSUMPTION
 YearCivilian resident population July 1
Million persons
 Fresh and frozenCannedCuredTotal
Pounds, edible meat
 1994 259.2 10.4 4.5 0.3 15.2
 1995 261.4 10.0 4.7 0.315.0
 1996 264.0 10.0 4.5 0.3 14.8
 1997 266.4  9.9 4.4 0.3 14.6
1998 269.1 10.2 4.4 0.3 14.9
 "U.S. ANNUAL PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF CANNED FISHERY PRODUCTS, 1994-98"
 YearSalmonSardinesTunaShellfishOther Total
Pounds
 19940.40.23.30.30.34.5
 19950.50.23.40.30.34.7
 19960.50.23.20.30.34.5
 19970.40.23.10.30.44.4
19980.30.23.40.30.24.4

"U.S. ANNUAL PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF CERTAIN FISHERY ITEMS, 1994-98"

 Year Filets and steaks Sticks and portions Shrimp
all preparation

Pounds
 1994 3.1 0.9 2.6
 1995 2.9 1.2 2.5
 1996 3.0 1.0 2.5
 1997 3.0 1.0 2.7
1998 3.2 0.9 *2.8

* Record

 

The NMFS calculation of per capita consumption is based on a "disappearance" model. The total U.S. supply of imports and landings is converted to edible weight and decreases in supply such as exports and inventories are subtracted out. The remaining total is divided by a population value to estimate per capita consumption. Data for the model are derived primarily from secondary sources and are subject to incomplete reporting; changes in source data or invalid model assumptions may each have a significant effect on the resulting calculation.