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NFI Report: Shrimp Still Tops List of Most-consumed Fish

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Shrimp continued to lead seafood consumption, according to the "Top Ten" list of the most consumed fish and seafood in the United States for 2004, recently released by the National Fisheries Institute here.

Hubbub over mercury levels in certain species aside, seafood consumption in America overall hit a record 16.6 pounds per capita in 2004, up from 16.3 pounds per person in 2003, according to the NFI survey. Total seafood consumption hit a record 4.85 billion pounds for 2004.

Shrimp consumption per capita climbed one-fifth of a pound over the previous year, and one-half of a pound over the past two years. Canned tuna remained in second place on the list, at 3.3 pounds per capita; while tilapia, a farmed white fish, vaulted from ninth place in 2003 to sixth place this year.

"Americans are eating more healthy fish meals than ever before, proving that we're all hearing the right message: eating fish is essential to a healthy, balanced diet," said NFI president John Connelly. "At a time in our nation's history when heart disease is the number one killer and obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, it is essential to educate the public about the benefits of eating fish rich in protein, vitamins and fatty acids."

This news comes on the heels of a study from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health that found increasing fish consumption leads to better public health by reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease. The analysis also showed that as consumption decreased, negative health effects increased.

"Americans should eat more seafood. Right now, each American is eating only about five ounces of fish each week, less than half of what the health professionals in our government recommend," said Connelly, adding that resources like on the Web and health information from groups such as the American Heart Association can help everyone learn how to prepare delicious and healthy fish meals.

Top Ten Seafood Items 2002-2004
(Pounds Per Capita)

Species Lbs
1 Shrimp 3.7
2 Canned Tuna 3.1
3 Salmon 2.021
4 Pollock 1.557
5 Catfish 1.103
6 Cod .658
7 Clams .568
8 Crab .545
9 Flatfish .401
10 Tilapia .317
Total All Species 15.6

Species Lbs
1 Shrimp 4.0
2 Canned Tuna 3.4
3 Salmon 2.219
4 Pollock 1.706
5 Catfish 1.137
6 Cod .644
7 Clams .609
8 Clams .541
9 Tilapia .525
10 Scallops .330
Total All Species 16.3

Species Lbs
1 Shrimp 4.20
2 Canned Tuna 3.30
3 Salmon 2.154
4 Pollock 1.277
5 Catfish 1.091
6 Tilapia 0.696
7 Crab 0.626
8 Cod 0.603
9 Clams 0.471
10 Flatfish 0.332
Total All Species 16.6

The Top Ten list was compiled for the National Fisheries Institute by H.M. Johnson & Associates, publishers of the Annual Report on the United States Seafood Industry. Data for this list came from NOAA Fisheries.
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