Dutch Harbor, New Bedford Hold Steady as Top Fishing Ports

Dutch Harbor retained first place as the nation’s top
commercial fishing port by volume in 2013, while New Bedford, MA., led all
other ports for value in the latest annual report on the status of United
States fisheries, released today.
Deliveries of commercial seafood to Dutch Harbor in 2013
totaled 753 million pounds, up slightly from 752 million pounds a year earlier,
while at New Bedford, MA., the overall value of seafood delivered slipped from
$411 million in 2012 to $379 million in 2013.
The 2013 edition of Fisheries of the United States, compiled
by the National Marine Fisheries Service, notes that U.S. fishermen in 2013
landed 9.9 billion pounds of fish and shellfish, an increase of 245 million
pounds from 2012. Valued at $5.5 billion, these landings represent an increase
of $388 million from 2012, the report said.
The average American, meanwhile ate 14.5 pounds of fish and
shellfish in 2013, essentially unchanged from 2012.
Overall U.S. commercial landings of fish and shellfish for
human food rose steadily since 2004, which 7,794 million pounds landed were
valued at $3,611 million. By 2013, those landings reached 8,053 million pounds,
valued at $5,292 million.
Landings for industrial purposes meanwhile dropped from
1,889 million pounds in 2004 to 1,827 million pounds in 2013, while the value
rose from $145 million in 2004 to $198 million in 2013.
Eileen Sobeck, assistant National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration administrator for NOAA Fisheries, noted the importance of the
commercial and recreational fishing sectors to the national economy, including
job creation.
The report shows that while national totals of fish and
shellfish landings remained about the same, total landings of wild salmon
topped one billion pounds, up 68 percent from 2012, for a new record. The report also shows that for the 17th
consecutive year, the Alaska port of Dutch Harbor led the nation with the
highest amount of seafood landed, primarily walleye pollock.
Harvesters delivering to Dutch Harbor brought in 753 million
pounds valued at $197 million, the report said.

And for the 14th consecutive year, New Bedford,
MA, had the highest valued catch- 130 million pounds, valued at $379 million –
due mostly to the highly valued sea scallop fishery. Sea scallops accounted for
more than 81 percent of the value of the New Bedford landings.