According to NOAA Fisheries of the United States, 2015 report, in addition to strong landings and economic values for U.S. fishermen, seafood consumption increased to 15.5 pounds per person, up by nearly a full pound from the 2014 report. Increased consumption of seafood is anticipated to continue into the future, underscoring the importance of domestic aquaculture as part of a sustainable seafood portfolio.
Although aquaculture figures for 2015 are not yet available, for perspective, in 2014 the top U.S. aquaculture produced species included oysters, clams, and Atlantic salmon, and generated 608 million pounds of seafood valued at $1.3 billion (20 percent of the value and 6 percent of the volume of total U.S. production of fishery products).
Commercial fishermen landed 9.7 billion pounds of seafood valued at $5.2 billion in 2015, continuing the high landings and values of U.S. fisheries we’ve seen over the last five years. This trend underscores the collective progress of the U.S. fisheries management system, the fishery management councils and fishermen that make it work in order to ensure the sustainability and economic stability of our nation’s fisheries.
On the recreational side of our fisheries, U.S. anglers took more than 60 million trips in 2015 and caught more than 350 million fish, 57 percent of which were released. The total recreational harvest was estimated at 151 million fish weighing 188 million pounds.