October is National Seafood Month
October 1, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Is your town celebrating seafood month? I’ll tell you more after this —
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October is National Seafood Month – a distinction proclaimed by Congress more than a quarter century ago to recognize one of our nation’s oldest industries.
Government figures show that nationwide, the seafood industry contributes $60 billion to the U.S. economy each year.
Pacific salmon, sea scallops, shrimp and lobster contributed the most to total revenue. For poundage, Alaska pollock, menhaden and Pacific salmon accounted for more than half of the US fish landed.
Alaska deserves special merit during Seafood Month, as it produces more than 60% of our nation’s seafood – more than all the other states combined.
The seafood industry is Alaska’s number one private employer – it puts more people to work than oil and gas, mining, timber and tourism combined. And Alaska’s seafood industry ranks second only to Big Oil for the tax dollars it pumps into state coffers.
Americans eat about 16 pounds of seafood per person each year. That compares to more than 108 pounds of red meat and nearly 73 pounds of poultry. America’s seafood favorites have remained largely the same. The top five are shrimp, canned tuna, salmon, pollock and tilapia.
America’s seafood appetite is being fed mostly by foreign imports– more than 80 percent of all fish and shellfish eaten in the U.S. comes from other countries.
Speaking of other countries — that 16 pounds of seafood that Americans eat pales when compared to other parts of the world. The Japanese, for example, eat 146 pounds of seafood per person each year. U.N. figures show that it is 186 pounds in Greenland and more than 200 pounds per person in Iceland.
The country with the lowest seafood consumption is Afghanistan at zero.
And where in the world is the most seafood eaten? The South Pacific islands of Tokelau where each person eats more than 440 pounds of seafood every year.
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Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.