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Celebrate National Seafood Month 2021

October 01, 2021

The United States is recognized as a global leader in sustainable seafood for both wild-caught and farmed species. Join us for National Seafood Month and get inspired by savory seafood along the way.

A table with a variety of fish and shellfish dishes Table full of fish and shellfish dishes. Credit: iStock.

October is National Seafood Month. Did you know that the United States is recognized as a global leader in sustainable seafood for both wild-caught and farmed species?

That's because U.S. fishermen and fish farmers operate under some of the most robust and transparent environmental standards in the world. NOAA Fisheries works to advance and export sustainable management practices internationally. We establish and maintain a level playing field for our fishermen and fish farmers, and maintain confidence in U.S. seafood products and access to the global marketplace.

Seafood gumbo
Seafood gumbo. Credit: Jeffreyw (CC BY 2.0)

Aquaculture plays a key role in sustainable seafood as well. Developing a domestic aquaculture industry is critical for the economic and environmental resiliency of our coastal communities and supply of sustainable seafood.

Sustainable seafood relies on strong science, responsive management, and enforced compliance. NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement enforces best stewardship practices over our ocean fisheries. They work with domestic and international partners to ensure a level playing field for those playing by the rules, combating IUU fishing and expanding compliance with ocean stewardship laws.

Visit FishWatch—the nation's seafood database on sustainable seafood—to get up-to-date information on the science, status and management of U.S. seafood. See why eating seafood is good for you, the economy, and our planet below. Follow along with #NationalSeafoodMonth to stay tuned for updates each week with new seafood stories and more!

Seafood Is Good for You

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that everyone—from age 6 months and up—eat regular servings of seafood. Studies show that regular seafood consumption has beneficial impacts on blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Get heart healthy with seafood

Slices of garlic chili oil and smoked oyster pizza on baking pan and a white plate, topped with fresh greens.
Garlic chili oil and smoked oyster pizza. Credit: Abby Rogerson/Washington Sea Grant.

Seafood Is Good for the Economy 

The U.S. seafood industry is a powerful economic driver. Nationally, it supported 1.2 million jobs and added $69.2 billion to the gross domestic product in 2017. Commercial harvesting, farming, processing, and retail are also major assets for local and regional economies.

Explore the economic importance of seafood

Woman watching video on her phone.
Woman watching video on phone. Credit: NOAA Fisheries.

Seafood Is Good for the Planet

In the United States, sustainable seafood is not only a possibility, it’s our priority. Aquaculture can improve food security and nutrition by increasing the amount of seafood available for people to eat. If done correctly, aquaculture increases food production, boosts economic growth in coastal and rural areas, and can help keep waterways clean.

How aquaculture supports a sustainable earth

Two farmers sorting oysters on a boat loaded with bags and baskets of oysters.
Oyster farmers process their crop—harvesting oysters ready for market and maintaining their gear. Credit: NOAA Fisheries

Dig into Seafood Features

Celebrate Seafood by Swapping Surf for Turf

Already planning your next Taco Tuesday, movie night with pizza, or Saturday cookout without seafood in mind? It’s not too late to adapt your menu! You can swap conventional fillings, toppings, or patties out for a healthy and tasty seafood alternative. Check out the following “seafood swap” recipes from our partners for inspiration!

Check out these seafood swaps

Salmon and egg breakfast tacos.
Salmon and egg breakfast tacos are a delicious seafood swap for any time of day! Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

Fishing for Sport and Seafood

Our celebration of National Seafood Month would not be complete without highlighting a special source of seafood: the fish we catch ourselves! In 2019, recreational and non-commercial saltwater anglers took 187 million fishing trips and caught 950 million fish. Catch-and-release angling plays an important role in U.S. fish conservation—more than half the fish caught are released. There are plenty of opportunities around the nation for anglers to keep the fish they hook. Plus, a dinner featuring seafood you caught yourself adds a delicious capstone to an exciting day on the water.

See ways to prepare popular catches from each region 

An angler hooks a dolphinfish off the coast of Florida. Photo by Ian VanMoorhe of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
An angler hooks a dolphinfish off the coast of Florida. Photo by Ian VanMoorhe of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, entered into the 2020 NOAA photo contest.

7 Ways to Celebrate National Seafood Month

Temperatures are cooling, leaves are changing colors, and the smell of pumpkin spice fills the air—all signs of fall in the United States! This time of year is meaningful for many reasons. At NOAA Fisheries, it’s a time to celebrate seafood because October is National Seafood Month. Check out ways you and your family can savor the flavors—and health benefits—of seafood.

See 7 ways to celebrate National Seafood Month

Shrimp, scallop, and fish dish
Shrimp, scallop, and fish dish. Credit: iStock.

Buy Local: Building Our Local Seafood Economies and Promoting Local Seafood

To kick-off National Seafood Month, NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Janet Coit provides her perspective on the critical role the U.S. seafood sector plays in our lives and the economy.

Read Janet's leadership message focused on building our local seafood economies

Six grilled Hog Island oysters drizzled in barbecue chipotle butter, on a serving dish with two small forks.
Grilled oysters with BBQ chipotle butter. Credit: Hog Island Oyster Co.

Cheer for Seafood at Your Next Tailgate Party

This fall, get ready for the big game with these seafood tailgate ideas.

Get fun fall seafood recipes ideas

Shrimp skewers. Credit: Seafood Nutrition Partnership.
Shrimp skewers are a quick and easy way to feed your tailgate guests. Photo and recipe courtesy of Seafood Nutrition Partnership.

More Habitat, More Fish: New Tool to Estimate Fish Production Within Nursery Habitats

New online tool provides estimates of the number of juvenile fish and invertebrates that are produced within nursery habitats in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tool to estimate fish production within nursery habitats

Fish production rates in salt marsh in Pensacola, Florida
Infographic: Fish production in Pensacola Bay, Florida.