Fisheries of the United States
During the last half century, or somewhat more, the United States has been one of the major fish producing countries of the world. Between 1930 and the late 1940s it was second only to Japan. Since that time it has declined in total production compared to other countries, was down to sixth in rank for a short while, and in 1982 it ranked fourth, exceeded by Japan, the USSR, and mainland China. This is not as bad as it sounds, however, because the United States is somewhat more particular than these other countries in the kinds of fish and shellfish it eats, and we have turned to imports to supply additional quantities of those kinds of fish that we cannot produce at home. In 1982, for example, we imported 5,644 million pounds of all kinds of fishery products, for a total supply of 12,011 million pounds. The total production in the world in 1981 was 74.8 million metric tons or about 167,552 million pounds, so the United States uses about 7 percent of total world production. If we consider the foreign catch in the United States Fishery Conservation Zone (within 3 and 200 miles of the United States coast), it comes to about 1,654,690 metric tons or about 3,707 million pounds. So the total catch by United States and foreign fishermen around our coast out to 200 miles is about 15,733 million pounds, or about 9.4 percent. Thus, the potential United States catch off our coasts and in some foreign waters is probably in the neighborhood of 16,000 million pounds or about 10 percent of total world production.
KeywordsPacific Coast Striped Bass Recreational Fishery Spotted Seatrout Total World Production
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