Most Popular Seafood Products In The United States

Consumers in the United States (US) have a wide choice of seafood products, both locally obtained and imported.
Consumers in the United States (US) have a wide choice of seafood products, both locally obtained and imported.

The term seafood refers to a wide array of marine edibles including shell and ocean fish. Consumers in the United States (US) have a wide choice of locally sourced products as well as seafood imported from around the world. Seafood is available in both farm raised and wild varieties. Fish such as catfish, tilapia, and salmon are routinely farm raised while swordfish, tuna, and shark are harvested from the wild. American consumers have a diverse selection of seafood to choose from including such foreign delicacies as geoduck (a large burrowing clam) and bream (used in Mediterranean dishes) to regional favorites like lobster, Alaskan king crab, and southern crawfish.

Most Popular Seafoods in the US


The most widely served seafood in the US is shrimp; a crustacean and member of the Decapoda order. Shrimp can be farm raised or wild. In their nutritional value shrimp is high in calcium, protein, omega-3s, and iodine. Shrimp and related prawns are used in a variety of dishes and can be baked, boiled, fried, and grilled on a barbecue. Some popular shrimp dishes include gumbo (a stew thought to have originated in Louisiana during the 18th century), prawn cocktail, and shrimp creole.

Salmon and Tuna

Salmon and tuna are tied as the second most popular seafood consumed by Americans. These two types of fish have long been favorite ingredients for uncomplicated meals such as sandwiches and salads. Although both fish contain high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a fattier and more costly fish than tuna which contains more protein. Part of the popularity of these products may be due to their availability in a convenient-to-use canned form. Salmon can be prepared using various methods including smoking, baking, and frying. It’s also a favorite ingredient in sushi. Among the species of tuna sold in the US include Albacore, Yellowfin, Skipjack, and Southern Bluefin.

Other Popular Fish

Other popular types of fish in the US include tilapia, Alaska pollock, pangasius, cod, and catfish. Tilapia is also known as St. Peter’s Fish because some Biblical scholars believe it was the type of fish used by Jesus to feed a gathering at the Sea of Galilee. Alaska pollock is commonly used as the main ingredient in products such as fish-sticks, imitation crabmeat, and in fish sandwiches at various fast food restaurants. The Basa and Swai species of pangasius are freshwater fish native to Asian countries like China and Vietnam. Often imported from Canada, Iceland, or China American consumers can choose between Atlantic and Pacific species of cod. Catfish are native to the southern regions of the US and are one of the country’s most successful home-grown seafood products.

Crab and clams

Two popular types of shellfish in the US include crab and clams. Among the most well known and most consumed species of American crabs include the King, Snow, Dungeness, and Blue. Crabs can be purchased live, canned, or frozen. Clams are bivalve mollusks available in more than 150 varieties throughout the world.

Sustainability Is The Key To Save Marine Life

With factors such as global warming and pollution at play sustainable fishing practices have become more important than ever before. In recent years consumers in the US and around the world have become increasingly aware of the fragile state of the marine environment. Efforts have been made by local governments as well as international conservation organizations to educate consumers and those in the seafood industry as to the importance of sustainable consumption and protection of threatened and endangered species such as the Atlantic halibut, winter skate, and bluefin tuna.

Most Popular Seafood Products In The United States

RankType of SeafoodPer capita consumption/per year (in lbs), 2014
5Alaska Pollock0.98
6Pangasius (Basa or Swai)0.69

More in Society