Companies in this industry catch wild finfish, shellfish, and other marine products from their natural habitats. Major companies include Trident Seafood (based in the US), Cooke Aquaculture (Canada), Maruha Nichiro (Japan), and Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Japan). Large commercial fishing companies tend to be vertically integrated, encompassing fishing, freezing, and processing operations; smaller companies may have fishing operations only.
Global exports of seafood products were valued at $143 billion in 2016. The US, Japan, and China are major importers of seafood. Leading seafood exporters include China, Norway, and Vietnam.
The US commercial fishing industry includes about 2,400 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $5 billion.
Seafood processing and distribution and aquaculture (fish farming) are covered in separate industry profiles.
Demand is driven by trends in fish consumption. The profitability of individual companies depends on maximizing yield without depleting stocks. Industrial fisheries have advantages in fleet size and access to experienced crew members. Small-scale and “artisan” fisheries can compete effectively by serving a local market or by specializing in ultra-fresh fish. The US industry is highly fragmented: more than 90% of companies operate a single establishment and have four or fewer employees.
Products, Operations & Technology
Finfish account for about two-thirds of the value of global trade; shellfish (crustaceans and mollusks) account for the remainder. Major finfish products
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms