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    Fresh Seafood Trends: Familiar Fins Factor Heavily on Annual Top 10 List

    Americans ate 15.8 pounds of seafood per capita in 2009, down slightly from 16 pounds in 2008, and just 10 varieties made up more than 88 percent of that consumption, according to the recently released National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) “Top Ten” 2009 seafood consumption list.

    Familiar Fins Factor Heavily on Annual Top 10 List

    Americans ate 15.8 pounds of seafood per capita in 2009, down slightly from 16 pounds in 2008, and just 10 varieties made up more than 88 percent of that consumption, according to the recently released National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) “Top Ten” 2009 seafood consumption list.

    The top eight spots on the list remained unchanged from 2008, with shrimp leading the way, at 4.1 pounds per capita, accounting for more than one-quarter of the 15.8 pounds of seafood that the average American consumer enjoyed in 2009. Shrimp consumption remained steady from 2008 to 2009.

    Canned tuna held on to the No. 2 spot, at 2.5 pounds, which is 0.3 fewer pounds than the total recorded in 2008. Consumption of salmon, the No. 3-ranked species, increased from 1.84 pounds to 2.04 pounds per capita.

    Alaska Pollock came in at No. 4, at 1.454 pounds, up from 1.34 pounds in 2008. Tilapia is hot on its heels at No. 5, up slightly to 1.208 pounds. The next five spots belong to catfish (0.849 pounds), crab (0.594 pounds), cod (0.419 pounds) and clams (0.413 pounds.

    The final spot revealed the only major surprise -- newcomer pangasius, a catfish-like species farmed in Vietnam -- which made its debut on the top 10 list with 0.356 pounds consumed per capita. Flatfish dropped out of the top 10.

      2008   2009

    Shrimp

    4.1

    Shrimp

    4.1

    Canned Tuna

    2.8

    Canned Tuna

    2.5

    Salmon

    1.84

    Salmon

    2.04

    Alaska Pollock

    1.34

    Alaska Pollock

    1.454

    Tilapia

    1.19

    Tilapia

    1.208

    Catfish

    0.92

    Catfish

    0.849

    Crab

    0.61

    Crab

    0.594

    Cod

    0.44

    Cod

    0.419

    Flatfish

    0.43

    Clams

    0.413

    Clams

    0.42

    Pangasius

    0.356

    Total consumption actually increased by 45 million pounds, or about 1 percent; however, per capita consumption declined because of population growth.

    “From a public health perspective, it’s imperative that Americans eat more fish,” said Jennifer McGuire, the registered dietitian at Washington-based NFI. “This is a message we expect to see front and center when federal health experts release the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans this year -- the familiar food pyramid program. While we anticipate hearing a lot about eating less salt and not as much saturated fat, when it comes to seafood, more is better.”

    Once again, Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska, was the nation’s No. 1 fishing port in terms of volume, at 506.3 million pounds, while New Bedford, Mass., was the No. 1 fishing port in terms of value, at $249.2 million.

    For more information, visit www.AboutSeafood.com.

     

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