Seafood Processor Survey
Every year, we survey seafood processors across the United States, gathering information on product quantity and value as well as plant employment. This data collection spans all regions within NOAA Fisheries and generates important information for publications and management decisions. The annual survey of seafood processors is the only comprehensive data collection effort that includes all companies, regardless of plant size, as well as quantity and value information at the species level, when possible.
We collaborate with partners to collect the survey data. The survey instrument is a paper form that asks processing firms for monthly employment figures, a list of product types, and the quantity and value of each product processed in the previous year.
Each winter, along with partners, we distribute the survey to the seafood processors in their regions and help answer any questions. The completed surveys are forwarded to our Office of Science and Technology where staff enter all data, follow up with processors and port agents, tabulate annual figures, and maintain historical databases.
How the Information is Used
We use the survey data to tabulate seafood processing figures for two annual reports: Fisheries of the United States and Fisheries Economics of the United States. We also use the survey values to help calculate seafood consumption rates and other important statistics.
The data are also used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Census Bureau, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, as well as private agencies, universities, industry, and individuals (through data requests). The survey data are an important tool for understanding the seafood industry as a whole.
The results of this comprehensive survey of the U.S. seafood processing industry are used to generate regional and national statistics. Our annual Fisheries of the United States report and the Food and Agriculture Organization’s yearbook, Fishery Statistics: Commodities, both incorporate these statistics.