Nearly half of U.S. seafood supply is wasted

by A.Portelanc-Bedard on September 25, 2015 - 10:37pm

In “Nearly half of U.S. seafood supply is wasted, study shows” by Science Daily, it is said that U.S. in consuming too much seafood. The effect being that the sustainability of it is decreasing. The U.S. edible seafood supply is estimated to 4.7 billion pounds per year. Out of this, 47 percent, or 2.3 billion pounds is wasted every year (para.4).

              This waste is caused in majority by the consumers (51-63 percent of waste). After which other factors join in: sixteen to 32 percent due to bycatch and 13 to 16 percent is lost in distribution and retail (para.5). These 2.3 billion pounds would be enough to fulfill a year of protein for ten million men or twelve million women.

            The U.S. Dietary Guidelines want to recommend people to eat eight ounces of seafood per week. In other words, they would need two times more edible seafood, meaning that the sustainability of seafood would receive a huge hit in the face.  

            The author suggests reducing our waste of seafood by different means. We need to buy more frozen seafood, start packaging seafood in smaller portion, and reduce the percentage of bycatch that can be caught. Of course, some loss is inevitable.

            In my opinion, it would be totally stupid to ask people to eat more seafood if its sustainability is compromised. Let’s try not to take away the sustainability of our food. And I do not mean only seafood. Everything is linked in nature, if there is not enough seafood left it will have a gigantic impact on our and future generations’ lives. Furthermore, it would also cause human to go looking for food elsewhere and, again, overuse different resources.  


I completely believe the fact that humans in general waste to much food and much of the food we don't eat is just thrown away. This matter is a big deal especially this topic. By capturing lots of sea creatures we take away the food supply for other animals and lessen the amount of creatures and predators in the oceans. Especially when the demand is high for specific foods it adds to the amount of fishing we do for example since the demand is so high. In other words we need to stop being wasteful.

Im choosing to comment on this summary because I find this fact to be true. In high school I witnessed people throwing apples and oranges at the wall because they were not hungry, Ive seen lunches dropped into the trash because Lunch Time was about to end. Our schools teach us the importance of food and how what we eat is a deciding factor in our everyday life. But our schools don't teach the importance of respecting food. People think that food just appears, ready to be eaten and if you need more then just go to the store and buy some. People dont understand the hard ships the poor go through just to obtain enough food to feed their children and not themseleves.

When one of my friends asked me for an apple, I was genuinely surprised. This was not the friend i knew that would ask for an apple to eat. I asked "Do you want to eat It?" and he replied "No, I wanna throw it at the wall". We were 17 at that time.

It is unfortunate how we disrespect the food and money our parents have worked hard to get. But in the end, if the kid is 17 and still does not know what to do and what not to do, that might be the parents fault.

I completely agree with your response. Way to many people waste the food that is offered to them, and do not realise the impact that has. Many people in other countries die from not eating, and people waste seafood like if it was tissue paper. A lot of seafood’s are in big demand, but why do people continue to waste? I know many people who use the technique to freeze foods, and I think it is a technique more people should adopt. When you know you will not eat it all, place it in a container and freeze it. Later when you will want some you will have some in you freezer and their will be way less seafood wasted.

It is crazy how much food we go through and even crazier how much we waste. Millions across the world are dying of hunger while we waste it. The worst thing is we are not only not sharing our food but over using our resources hence wasting so much while watching others die and eventually run out of fish to eat due to over consumption of which most of it is thrown away. I also agree on your point that it is very important to freeze whatever we do not use rather than discard it because it makes use of it and at least you can save money by freezing it a and keeping for another time, it bothers me how people just do not care at all about anyone else but themselves. We "rich" countries are (no offense) pretty selfish when it comes to the impacts on the environment and the care for others who need it more than we do. We need to stop overusing and start giving, rather than spending too much and wasting too much.

I think this topic is interesting and it captured my attention. I agree that people always waste a lot of food. I think there is a relationship within the culture and personal preference as well. As I known, the host will order a lot of food for their guests in a lot of Asian countries. They believe that this is respectable. It is difficult to ask them to switch or change their tradition. Besides, seafood can be the favorite food for some people. I think it is almost impossible to ask them stop eating seafood.
In your article, you mentioned that we need to reduce the percentage of bycatch that can be caught. I totally agree with it. I think policy and management are needed to maintain the sustainability. For example, government can charge more taxes on the seafood. Suppliers and consumers may reduce their supply and demand of seafood. It is also a good idea to freeze the foods instead of throwing them to the rubbish bin. People should be educated in this way because everyone has their responsibility to reduce the waste and protect our Earth.

This is even worse when you think that some of the seafood that is wasted is meat from endangered species, which means that members of an endangered species are essentially being killed for less than nothing. (Species like tuna are at risk because of overfishing.)

Even if the species isn't endangered, it is still a terrible amount of food to be throwing out.