A NOAA Fisheries report finds the port of New Bedford, Mass. the top spot for value of landings for the tenth year in a row. The New Bedford port brought in $249.2 million in 2009, an increase of $7.9 million over the previous year. The amount of fish landed was also up by 23.6 million pounds, with scallops responsible for a large part of the high value.
For the 21st consecutive year, Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska was the country's top port for the total amount of fish landed. Last year, commercial fishermen unloaded 506.3 million pounds of fish and shellfish there, mostly pollock.
Dutch Harbor-Unalaska also retained its position as the second-highest port for landings value, with landings earning $159.7 million in 2009.
Nationwide, the total domestic commercial landings for 2009 were 7.9 billion pounds, valued at $3.9 billion. This is a decrease from 2008, when the volume reached 8.3 billion pounds, with a value of $4.4 billion. Accounting for most of the decrease was a decline in landings of both pollock and Pacific whiting.
"The successful and collaborative management of the New England scallop fishery is a main reason for the excellent year we saw in 2009," said Eric Schwaab, NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries Service. "Fishing also supports a healthy industry and working waterfronts."
The ports of Empire-Venice, La. and Reedville, Va., ranked second and third for quantity of landings in 2009, primarily due to menhaden. Some 411.8 million pounds of fish were landed in Empire-Venice and 349.4 million pounds were landed in Reedville.
The report on the nation's ports is part of Fisheries of the United States 2009, a detailed statistical report on the nation's commercial and recreational fishing, landings, import, export, per capita fish consumption and consumer expenditures for fish products. The report is available at http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1.