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Tuna, shrimp top favorites in USA; pollock and salmon rise in popularity.

While tuna remained America's favorite seafood in 1992, Alaska pollock rose from the number four slot to third place, and salmon moved up to the number four slot from its fifth place position in 1991, according to the National Fisheries Institute (NFI).

"We can attribute Alaska pollock's increased popularity to its many uses in breaded seafood products--such as fish sticks and fish sandwiches--and its inclusion in surimi seafoods," explained Lee Weddig, executive vice president of NFI. "The product is also gaining in popularity in frozen fillet form.

"Continued high production in major salmon runs in Alaska has made salmon more readily available to seafood consumers whether they are dining out or shopping at their local retail outlet. The wild salmon sources are supplemented by year-round availability of farm-raised salmon from various parts of the world."

While catfish remained in the number six slot in 1992, consumption of the product increased by almost 10%. The growing popularity of the species is also due to the increase in its availability from farm-raised stock. Industry analysts see aquaculture as an even more significant source of seafood products in the years to come.

Shrimp strengthened its position in the number two slot with another gain in consumption, while cod dropped from third place in 1991 to number five last year.

The "Top 10" seafoods represent approximately 81% of the total 1992 per capita consumption figures of 14.8 pounds of seafood per person. The total amount of seafood consumed in the United States last year exceeded 3.7 billion pounds, of which more than 60% was imported.

Since overseas supplies play such an important role in the U.S. seafood industry, the NFI has scheduled a series of import workshops across the country to help importers, brokers, cold storage operators and others better understand Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations regarding fishery products. The all-day sessions will be held as follows: Miami, Oct. 14; Boston, Oct. 18; New York, Oct. 20; Baltimore, Oct. 22; Los Angeles, Nov. 15; San Francisco, Nov. 17; Seattle, Nov. 19.

The workshops will include an overview of problems the FDA encounters with imported seafood; a discussion of laws, regulations and policies for importing seafood into the USA; seafood sampling procedures at the local FDA level; the role of private laboratories; and issues such as mandatory Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Inspection (HACCP), and nutrition labeling regulations.

A special feature will be a demonstration on how the agency evaluates seafood wholesomeness. Examples of violations will also be provided to help participants avoid import entry detentions. For registration information, fax the Arlington, Virginia-headquartered NFI headquarters at 703-524-4619.
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Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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