The United States seafood market posted a decline in volume sales of 1% in 2011, with the market predicted to be worth a value of $20 billion.
The industry began to decline following the recession and volume sales look set to remain below the pre-recession high.
Crustaceans look likely to become the fastest growing category in the United States sea food market over the period to 2016 with projected growth of 8%. However, Crustaceans, particularly lobster, have a luxury image and will suffer in the short term from post-recessionary consumer caution and high unemployment.
None of the US fish and seafood market categories has been able to rebound to pre-recession levels and it will take until 2016 to regain all the losses sustained.
It is no doubt that the US seafood industry is facing tough competition from imports because demand is driven by domestic trends in fish consumption and imports. The profitability of individual companies depends on maximizing yield without depleting stocks. Industrial fisheries have advantages in fleet size and access to experienced crew members.
Consumers who are both environmentally- and health-conscious are in a bind over consumption within the US seafood market. The US government is encouraging the consumption of fish as a source of high-quality, low-fat protein rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, riboflavin, calcium and a multitude of other vitamins and minerals.
Yet at the same time, consumers are responding to environmental groups sounding the alarm about ocean depletion and ecosystem damage as the world consumption of fish has exploded.
For more information on the US seafood market, see the latest research: US Seafood Market Report
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