Fish For Thought
According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the typical American consumes about 15 pounds of seafood a year, while the USDA reports that we eat just under 200 pounds red meat, pork and poultry annually.
The oceans abound with 25,000 species of fish and seafood. However, most countries recognize about 20 common varieties.
90% of the seafood Americans eat is imported.
Shrimp remains the most popular seafood on the planet.
In 2014, 90% of the shrimp we consume is farmed and imported from India, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
66% of the salmon we eat in the U.S. is farmed and imported, mainly from Canada and Chile.
The wild Atlantic salmon population has declined precipitously due to overfishing and climate change. However, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest shelter the greatest concentration of wild salmon in the world, home to sockeye, king, coho, silverbrite and steelhead.
Remember: Concerned citizens can make a difference. Back in the 1990s, consumers rallied against the accidental capture of dolphin in tuna fishing, and that industry changed its fishing methods. Speak up for, and eat, sustainable seafood like domestic shrimp, wild-harvested seafood and East Coast shellfish. Pricier, perhaps, but these national treasures, and those who fish them, deserve our respect.