This industry classification includes establishments primarily engaged in the commercial taking of shellfish. The shellfish designation includes mollusks (such as clams, mussels, oysters, and squid) and crustaceans (such as crabs, crayfish, lobsters, and shrimp). Establishments primarily engaged in shellfish farming are classified in SIC 0273: Animal Aquaculture.
After growing, albeit slowly, in the late 1990s, the market for seafood began to wane in the early 2000s. Total shellfish landings in 2002 were 8.08 billion pounds, down from 8.24 billion pounds in 2001; the value of landings declined from $1.47 billion to $1.35 billion over the same time period. Clam landings grew from 122.7 million pounds in 2001 to 130.0 million pounds in 2002, while crab landings increased from 272.2 million pounds to 357.6 million pounds. However, shrimp landings declined from 324.4 million pounds in 2001 to 316.7 million pounds in 2002, and squid landing dipped from 231.6 million pounds to 205.5 million pounds.
Although most shellfish imports decreased during the late 1990s and early 2000s, shrimp imports grew 41 percent between 1998 and 2003. In fact, they jumped 64 million pounds in 2002 alone to 946 million pounds, worth an estimated $3.4 billion. Despite a weak U.S. economy, shrimp imports throughout the early 2000s had grown significantly due to declining prices. This trend continued in the first half of 2003, with the quantity of imports rising 14 percent while the price declined 1 percent. By the end of 2003, shrimp imports were predicted to exceed 1 billion pounds. Thailand is the largest shrimp importer to the United States, accounting for $393 million in shipments during the first half of 2003 alone.
Fresh and frozen crabmeat imports declined from 28.4 million pounds to 22.7 million pounds between 2001 and 2002. Over the same time period, fresh and frozen lobster imports increased from 91.6 million pounds to 99.8 million pounds, while fresh and frozen scallop imports increased from 39.6 million pounds to 48.2 million pounds.
Imports of clams grew 27 percent to 4.4 million pounds in the first six months of 2003, while imports of oysters grew 31 percent to 9.6 million pounds. Mussel imports, however, declined 16 percent to 24.2 million pounds during this time period. After declining modestly in the late 1990s, exports of clams and oysters recovered in the early...