NOAA’s Fisheries of the United States 2016 Highlights Massive Seafood Trade Deficits

The Office of Science and Technology of the National Marine Fisheries Service recently issued the Fisheries of the United States report for 2016.


The report indicates that although the volume of shrimp landed in the Gulf of Mexico fell by 4.1% in 2016, compared to 2015, the overall value of that catch increased by 9.1%.  Those trends mean that the value of each pound of shrimp landed in the Gulf increased in 2016, although these values did not recover to the levels seen in 2013 and 2014:


In the South Atlantic, shrimpers were reported to have landed more shrimp in terms of both volume and value than any other year over the last fourteen years.  Last year marked the third straight year where the value of commercial shrimp landings in the South Atlantic increased over the prior year:


Commercial shrimp landings in the United States declined in both volume and value in 2016 compared to 2015, but this decline was the result of a massive drop in commercial shrimp landings in the Pacific Ocean on the west coast.  Where 105.9 million pounds of shrimp with a commercial value of $89.5 million had been landed in 2015, only 55.7 million pounds of shrimp worth $50.7 million were reported as landed in 2016.


NOAA’s report indicates that per capita consumption of shrimp in the United States increased slightly in 2016, up to 4.1 pounds per person compared to 4.0 pounds in 2015.


NOAA’s report also emphasizes that the country’s trade deficit in edible seafood grew significantly in 2016.  Although the United States exported $5.4 billion in edible seafood products in 2016, the country imported $19.5 billion in edible seafood.  The total value of edible seafood imported in 2016 increased by $693.0 million compared to 2015 (an increase of 3.7%), while the total value of edible seafood exported out of the United States declined by $186.1 million in 2016 compared to 2015 (a decrease of 3.3%).


With countries in East Asia alone, the United States’ trade deficit in edible seafood products stood at negative $6.98 billion in 2016.  Shrimp played a huge role in that massive deficit.  Of the $9.63 billion in edible seafood we imported from East Asian countries last year, NOAA reports that $4.41 billion was comprised of imports of fresh and frozen shrimp.


Read NOAA’s Fisheries of the United States 2016 report here:


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