U.S. Seafood Industry - Statistics & Facts

The seafood industry is comprised of fishing, seafood farming and processing sectors. Together with agriculture, forestry and hunting, the seafood industry makes a substantial contribution to the national economy. The value of commercial landings of fish and shellfish in the United States reached 5.45 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, with the majority used for human food.


The commercial fishing industry has faced several challenges during the past years: overfishing (as a global environmental problem resulting in restrictive catching policies), lack of transparency, and bycatch management. In order to try to resolve these issues, more and more fishing nations attempt to implement comprehensive traceability and sustainability initiatives.

On the retail level, vendors benefit greatly from a well presented seafood department as about 50 percent of U.S. consumers stated that a high-quality seafood section is very important to them when choosing their primary grocery store. Seafood is carried to consumers in a fresh, frozen, or refrigerated form or as a shelf-stable product. The refrigerated seafood category was dominated by private label brands with sales amounting to 78 million U.S. dollars in 2016.

Fish or seafood often comes on the platter: a recent survey revealed that about 27 percent of U.S. consumers purchased fish or seafood once a week in 2015. Even though there are multiple benefits of consuming fish and seafood, such as proteins and other essential nutrients, some consumers are concerned about the threat of toxins in the fish from supermarkets. Luckily there are a lot of restaurants nowadays that specialize in fish and seafood. A recent consumer survey conducted in the U.S. revealed that some 26 percent of respondents were completely satisfied with seafood options in casual dining chains in 2016. The same survey showed, that about 25 percent of U.S. consumers decided before arriving at the restaurant that they will have fish or seafood for that meal.

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Seafood industry - Important statistics

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