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Asia Minute: Guess Where the World’s Top Fish Eaters Live?

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

People around the world are eating more fish than ever before. That word comes from the United Nations—which also reports most of the biggest consumers of seafood live in Asia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


There are a lot of ways to look at global seafood consumption and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization tracks a number of metrics.

The big picture story is one of growth—consumption of fish has grown steadily since the 1950’s.

And the general pattern is that as countries increase their per capita wealth, they increase their per capita consumption of all seafood.

When it comes to ranking countries, four of the top five seafood eaters in the world are in Asia.

In a report last week, the U.N. group found that South Korea leads the pack with each person consuming an average of nearly 130 pounds of seafood a year.

Number two:  Norway—more than 117 pounds a person.

Japan is not far behind—more than 110 pounds a person.

Then there’s a bit of a drop off before China rolls in at number four with about 87 pounds a year for per capita seafood consumption. Vietnam rounds out the top five with about 78 pounds.

The average American eats about 50 pounds of seafood a year still well above the global average.

While the U.N. group follows various trends, it says the most important is its Blue Growth Initiative—including what it calls an ecosystem approach leading to a more sustainable global seafood supply.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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