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Tilapia, pangasius climb Top 10 list in US

The National Fisheries Institute on Monday released its Top 10 list of America’s favorite seafood products in 2010.

Eight of the top 10 spots on the list remained unchanged from 2009. But two farmed finfish species — tilapia and pangasius — continue to climb the list.

For the first time, tilapia overtook Alaska pollock to become America’s fourth most popular seafood item, at 1.45 pounds per capita in 2010, up from 1.208 pounds in 2009.

And pangasius, the catfish-like species raised primarily in Vietnam, which made its debut on the top 10 list at 0.356 pounds per capita in 2009, surpassed clams to become America’s ninth most popular seafood item, at 0.405 pounds.

The rest of the list remained unchanged, with shrimp again leading the way at 4 pounds per capita in 2010, more than one-quarter of the 15.8 pounds of seafood that the average American consumer enjoyed. That’s down slightly from 4.1 pounds in 2009.

Canned tuna held on to the No. 2 position at 2.7 pounds per capita, up from 2.5 pounds in 2009. Consumption of salmon, the No. 3-ranked species, dropped from 2.04 pounds per capita in 2009 to 1.999 pounds in 2010.

Alaska pollock came in at No. 5 at 1.192 pounds, down from 1.208 pounds in 2009, as the 2010 Bering Sea pollock quota had been cut significantly from 2009.

The next three spots belonged to catfish (0.8 pounds), crab (0.573 pounds) and cod (0.463 pounds). Rounding out the Top 10 list was clams at 0.341 pounds.

NFI’s Top 10 list came three days after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service released its annual Fisheries of the United States report. Americans ate 15.8 pounds per capita in 2010, down from 16 pounds in 2008 and 2009 and the lowest amount since 2002’s 15.6 pounds. The agency adjusted the 2009 total, which originally came to 15.8 pounds, recalculating it to 16 pounds.

“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.

Source: Seafoodsource

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