The Seafood Picture
|Shrimp (the most-consumed seafood in America) and other Crustaceans. Natural History of the Animal Kingdom for the Use of Young People.|
According to NOAA, in 2009, Americans consumed 4.833 billion pounds of seafood - translating to 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish per person. Approximately 50% of that seafood was wild-caught, and 50% was farm-raised. The top ten most-consumed seafood in the U.S. in 2010 was:
- Shrimp (4.10 lbs)
- Canned Tuna (2.8 lbs)
- Salmon (1.84 lbs)
- Tilapia (1.34 lbs)
- Pollock (1.19)
- Catfish (0.92 lbs)
- Crab (0.61 lbs)
- Cod (0.44 lbs)
- Pangasius (0.43 lbs)
- Clams (0.341 lbs)
*lbs average per person
50 Fish from American Waters
Have you ever wondered what marine species can be found in American waters? While not exhaustive, 50 Fish from American Waters is a pictorial work that presents a delightful collection of such species through illustrations.
Curiously, the fish illustrations in this book were originally published as individual cigarette cards for collecting and trading. The tobacco firm, Allen and Ginter of Richmond, Virginia, was the first firm to use tobacco trading cards as a means of advertisement in cigarette packages, and, between 1870-1900, select packages of Allen and Ginter Virginia Bright cigarettes contained one of the 50 varieties of American fish trading cards (see the poster advertising the cards from Library of Congress). All of the cards were later published in the book 50 Fish from American Waters.
|Lobster, Grouper, Moonfish, and Chub. 50 Fish from American Waters.|
|Tomcod, Bluefish, Blowfish, Toadfish, and Seabass. 50 Fish from American Waters.|
|Whitebait, Whitefish, Swordfish, Sturgeon, Flounder, Catfish. 50 Fish from American Waters.|
|Butterfish, Eel, Porgy, Mullet, Skate, Crab. 50 Fish from American Waters.|
View all images from 50 Fish from American Waters in Flickr.
What can you do to help?
According to the ongoing The Ocean's Project survey, most Americans care about the ocean and want to protect it, but many feel that they themselves can make little impact on the ocean's health and, interestingly, that American waters are less imperiled that foreign waters. While these may be somewhat troubling responses, on the bright side, 22% of the 30,000+ people surveyed said that they are active in the environmental movement and 57% expressed sympathy but not active involvement. Most indicated a high willingness to alter their seafood consumption habits to help protect the oceans.
So, what can you do to help? Worldoceansday.org provides some great examples of small actions you can take to help protect our oceans, including reducing seafood consumption in general, using re-usable grocery bags and water bottles, choosing abundant, farmed, and locally-caught species, reducing meat consumption (which reduces the demand for forage fish), and choosing sustainable seafood buyers and sellers.
Marine Biodiversity and BHL
|Ocean Sunfish. Ichthyologie.|
Be sure to check out our Marine Biodiversity Flickr collection with free images that you can download and reuse for your own World Oceans Day celebrations!
|Gray Whales. The Marine Mammals of the North-west Coast of North America.|
Remember, every living species requires water to survive, and our oceans play a huge part in our communal ecosystem. No matter where you live, your local water will eventually make its way to the ocean. We each have a responsibility to protect our oceans. Together, we can make a difference!
- Find some World Oceans Day events near you.
- Get some great promotional materials for World Oceans Day.
- You can even get free Dr. Seuss-themed World Oceans Day materials!
Program Manager | Biodiversity Heritage Library