Seafood demand is growing fast, and the global supply of wild-capture fisheries has remained flat for more than 20 years—the ocean has given what it can. As such, the future of a sustainable seafood must include both farm-raised and wild-capture seafood. The United States is recognized as a global leader in sustainable seafood—both wild-caught and farmed.
Marine wild-capture fisheries in the United States are scientifically monitored, regionally managed, and enforced under ten national standards of sustainability through the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act—exceeding the international standards for ecolabeling of seafood.
Although current U.S. aquaculture production is small and lags behind the rest of the world, U.S. fish farms operate under some of the world’s most robust environmental protections, producing environmentally safe, sustainable sources of domestic seafood, creating jobs, supporting resilient working waterfronts and coastal communities, and providing international trade opportunities.
In 2015, the average American ate 15.5 pounds of fish and shellfish, for a total of nearly 5 million pounds.
In 2014, the top U.S. marine aquaculture species in 2014 were oysters ($168 million), clams ($121 million), and Atlantic salmon ($76 million).
In 2015, the seafood industry supported this number of jobs and generated an estimated $208 billion in sales impact.
Get up-to-date information on the status of some of the nation’s most valuable marine fish harvested in U.S. federal waters as well as U.S. farmed fish that help meet our country’s growing seafood demand. Also learn about buying and handling seafood, fraud, and health and nutrition.
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The NOAA Fisheries Seafood Inspection Program provides inspection services to the seafood industry that help them comply with food safety regulations. This helps ensure that the seafood on your plate is fresh, safe, and sanitary.
Learn more about NOAA Fisheries Seafood Inspection Program
IUU fishing occurs when fishing or seafood businesses circumvent conservation and management measures and avoid the operational costs associated with sustainable fishing practices. IUU fishing undermines the reputation of legitimate fishing and seafood operations and the consumer confidence on which they rely. We work with partners around the world to combat this complex international issue.
Learn more about IUU fishing
Since 1938, we’ve been working with industry to provide accurate and unbiased reports depicting current conditions affecting the trade in fish and fishery products.
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We also maintain a foreign trade database dating back to 1975 that allows users to summarize U.S. foreign trade in fish products. You can summarize the weight and dollar value by year, product, country, and type of trade. This data comes from the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau, which is responsible for compiling information submitted by importers and exporters to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Learn more about seafood imports and exports
As part of our mission to sustainably manage fishery resources, we implement international trade monitoring programs initiated by international fishery management organizations or required by domestic law.
Learn more about trade/import monitoring
Well-managed wild-capture fisheries and environmentally responsible marine aquaculture play an increasingly important role in our food supply, our health, and the environment.