Seafood consumption per capita drifts higher in the United States

Vertical bar chart showing U.S. per capita consumption of fresh and frozen, canned, and cured seafood products between 1990 and 2021.

U.S. residents consumed an average of 20.5 pounds of seafood— finfish and shellfish—per capita in 2021. The U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Office of Science and Technology publishes annual consumption estimates for seafood produced through aquaculture and captive fisheries, domestically as well as those imported from other countries. Over the last three decades, demand for farm-raised and wild-caught seafood has expanded as consumers’ tastes and preference for finfish and shellfish have increased. Per capita seafood consumption grew 30 percent in this period, led by fresh and frozen seafood. Growth in fresh and frozen seafood consumption per capita climbed from about 63 percent in 1990 to almost 80 percent in 2021. In contrast, per capita consumption of canned seafood has declined from a 35-percent share in 1990 to an 18-percent share of the total seafood consumed nationwide in 2021. Cured seafood consumption remained constant throughout the period of observation. According to NOAA, about 80 percent of all seafood consumed in the United States is estimated to come from imported products. This chart is drawn from the USDA, Economic Research Service Aquaculture topic page.

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