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Americans ate 20 percent more tilapia in 2010 than they did in 2009, propelling it from the number five spot to the number four spot on the National Fisheries Institute's (NFI) latest Top Ten Seafood List.
Other impressive gains saw pangasius jump 14 percent to claim the number eight slot, up one from last year. And while cod remained at number seven, it gained 11 percent over 2009.
"If you look at the numbers from 2008, 2009 and now 2010, keeping in mind population growth, we're hopeful that we're beginning to see seafood consumption steadying, a trend that makes it poised for gains," said NFI president John Connelly.
This year's list contains some anomalies, including a National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) recalculation of 2009's total pounds per capita that changed to 16 pounds from 15.8 pounds. There was also a slight reduction in clam consumption on the 2009 list.
The 2010 Alaska Pollock numbers appear to show a drop of 18 percent when compared to the 2009 list, but about half of that decline is actually due to a new export category that identified previously uncounted exports, according to the NFI. The balance was due to a reduction in imports and a sharp increase in surimi exports. Also, pollock fillet exports increased, reflecting the continued strong demand for pollock fillets in Europe as it remains the most popular seafood item in Germany.