For the 18th consecutive year, Alaska’s Dutch Harbor continued to lead the nation in seafood landings, according to the latest edition of NOAA Fisheries’ annual report on Fisheries of the United States 2014.
While the overall figures are similar to those from 2013, both the volume and value continue to remain higher than the average for the past five years, said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries.
Landings at Dutch Harbor rose from 753 million pounds in 2013 to 761.8 million pounds million pounds in 2014, while landings at second place Kodiak rose from 426 million pounds to 477 million pounds.
For value alone, New Bedford, Massachusetts had the highest valued catch for the 15th consecutive year - $328.8 million for 140 million pounds, due mostly to the high price fetched by sea scallops in the marketplace. Sea scallops accounted for more than 76.6 percent of the value of New Bedford landings.
Dutch Harbor was again the nation’s second highest port for value, although its 2014 landings worth $191 million were down from $197 million a year earlier.
“Sustainable fisheries generate billions of dollars for our economy, help keep saltwater recreational fishing as one of our nation’s favorite past times, and help coastal communities remain economically resilient,” Sobeck said. “Seafood is big business in our country, and NOAA will continue to work as hard as we can to manage America’s fisheries, so our fishermen can continue to provide this important food source for all of us.”
The report also showed a steady rise in marine aquaculture production in recent years, about 5 percent annually from 2008 to 2013, with US marine aquaculture production having an estimated value of $403 million. Figures for 2014 were not yet available. And the report showed the average American consumed 14.6 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2014, essentially unchanged from a year earlier.
The complete 2014 Fisheries of the US report is online at http://st.nmfs.noaa.gov/commercial-fisheries/fus/fus14/index.