The Port of Dutch Harbor has done it again! For the 15th time in 15 years, Dutch Harbor led the nation in 2011 with the greatest amount of fish landed – primarily pollock – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reported.
Last year Dutch Harbor landed 706 million pounds of seafood valued at $207 million, while the Port of New Bedford, Massachusetts had 117 million pounds valued at $369 million. Other high rollers in Alaska included the Port of Kodiak, which landed 372 million pounds, valued at $168 million, and Akutan, which landed 431 million pounds, valued at $114 million.
For value alone, the Port of New Bedford, for the 12th consecutive year, had the highest valued catch, due mostly to the sea scallop fishery.
Overall seafood landings in the United States reached a 17-year high in 2011, thanks in part to rebuilding fish populations, and the value of landings also increased. NOAA officials said that US commercial fishermen landed 10.1 billion pounds of fish and shellfish in 2011, valued at $5.3 billion, an increase over 2010 of 1.9 billion pounds and more than $784 million. Much of the increase was credited to higher catches of Alaska pollock, Gulf menhaden and Pacific hake, also known as whiting.
The average American ate 15 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2011, less than an average of 15.8 pounds in 2010.
Collectively in 2011, Americans ate 4.7 billion pounds of seafood, and about 91 percent of that seafood was imported. That’s up five percent from 2010.
NOAA officials noted, however, that a portion of the imported seafood is caught by American fishermen, exported overseas for processing and then re-imported to the US The top three imports are shrimp, canned tuna, and tilapia fillet.