Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Seafood in the American Diet

Image credit:
Katie Semon, NOAA
 Can you remember the last type of seafood you ate? There is a good chance your neighbors were eating the same kind! Despite estimates that 300-500 different species of fish and shellfish are sold annually in the U.S, an astounding ten species make up approximately 90% of what American consume on a year to year basis. To get more specific approximately 55% of the seafood Americans consumed in 2009 was limited  to only three species: shrimp, canned tuna, and salmon!
America's top 10 list has been fairly consistent over the past decade with the notable exception of tilapia, which has increased steadily since 2002 and scallops and flatfish (flounder and sole), which has moved in and out of the top ten during this time frame. Pangasius (aka Basa or Swai), a freshwater catfish primarily imported from the Mekong River delta in Vietnam, has also moved onto the list in the past two years. If you'd like to see how the top ten list has changed over the past several years visit:

In addition, the U.S. per capita consumption of seafood in 2010 was 15.8 pounds, slightly less than the previous two years. In comparison, the U.S per capita consumption of other popular food items are as follows:
  • Red meat: about 110 pounds each year
  • Poultry: approximately 75 pounds each year
  • Dairy products: over 600 pounds each year
  • Vegetables: over 400 pounds each year
  • Fruits: over 250 pounds
  • Flour and cereal: almost 200 pounds
Statistics show that Americans eat twice as much cheese and almost equal amount of apples, watermelon, and turkey as they do fish and shellfish annually.

How does your seafood consumption compare???

Food Consumption Reference: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Statistical Abstract, Health & Nutrition: Food Consumption and Nutrition.

Seafood Supply and Commercial Fisheries Reference: National Marine Fisheries Service, 2011. Fisheries of the United States 2010