Alaska Still Leads in Volume and Value of Commercial Landings

NOAA Fisheries’ latest Fisheries of the United States annual national report shows that nationwide commercial harvesters landed 9.9 billion pounds of seafood valued at $5.4 billion in 2017.

Alaska is ranked first in the nation for volume and value of its commercial landings, while for the 21st consecutive year, Dutch Harbor led the nation as the port with the highest volume of seafood landed with a total of 769 million pounds valued at $173 million. Alaska Pollock made up 91.6 percent of the volume and 47.9 percent of the value. Snow crab and king crab accounted for an additional 33.5 percent of the value of Dutch Harbor landings and 1.8 percent of the volume.

Harvesters in Alaska waters brought in 6 billion pounds of seafood, valued at $1.8 billion.

Louisiana ranked second by volume, at 890.6 million pounds, and fourth by value with $354.3 million. Washington State came in third at 665.9 million pounds and fifth in value at $313.7 million.

Virginia, with 344 million pounds of seafood delivered, was fourth in volume and Mississippi, at 311 million pounds, placed fifth by volume. Massachusetts, with deliveries worth $605.3 million, came second for value, followed by Maine, at $511.3 million.

The report notes that to meet consumer demand the US continues to be a major importer of seafood, with between 85 and 95 percent of seafood consumed being imported, as measured by edible weight. While there has been an increase in imported seafood in recent years, the report also notes that a significant portion of that seafood was caught by American fishermen, exported overseas for processing and reimported into the US for consumption.

The report further indicates that the US aquaculture industry, both marine and freshwater, continues to boost production, with the top marine aquaculture species being oysters, clams and Atlantic salmon.