RECOVERY OF U.S. SEAFOOD CONSUMPTION COULD MEAN END TO RECESSION
A strengthening economy could allow consumers the option to choose fresh fish over frozen or canned products.
A recent study performed by market research firm IBISWorld shows the decline in U.S. seafood consumption is believed to have bottomed-out in 2012. Beginning this year, U.S. seafood producers' business revenues are forecast to increase by 1.2 percent each year through 2017, ultimately totaling $2.2 billion in annual sales.
Alabama Farmers Federation Catfish Division Director Rick Oates said the prediction, if accurate, could mean good news for Alabama's catfish farmers who have faced a decline in production due to foreign competition.
“It's good to see positive signs of growth in the economy," Oates said. "Hopefully, this will indeed translate to higher demand for U.S. farm-raised catfish and help our farmers sell more of their product.”
U.S. farm-raised catfish is the largest aquaculture industry in the country, with annual sales of more than $300 million. Industry leaders are looking forward to the economic recovery and a return to pre-recession consumption levels of premium quality, American-grown catfish.
"The volume of fish and seafood sold dropped significantly in 2008 and 2009 in favor of less expensive protein sources such as chicken, pork and beef," said IBISWorld industry analyst Josh McBee. "The negative effects of the recession reduced the quality of purchases as well."
In lieu of fresh fish, consumers in recent years have opted for more frozen, canned or other processed varieties, added McBee.
To view the full report, visit http://www.virtual-strategy.com/2013/01/27/fish-and-seafood-markets-us-industry-market-research-report-ibisworld-has-been-updated. For more information on Alabama's catfish industry, visit http://www.alfafarmers.org/commodities/catfish.phtml.