Seasonality is a natural feature of wild caught fisheries that introduces variation in food supply, and which often is amplified by fisheries management systems. Seasonal timing of landings patterns and linkages to consumption patterns can have a potentially strong impact on income for coastal communities as well as import patterns. This study characterizes the relationship between seasonality in seafood production and consumption in the United States by analyzing monthly domestic fisheries landings and imports and retail sales of farmed and wild seafood from 2017 to 2019. Analyses were conducted for total seafood sales, by product form, by species group, and by region of the United States. The data reveal strong seasonal increases in consumption around December and March. Seasonal increases in consumption in Spring and Summer occurred in parallel with domestic fishing production. Domestic landings vary by region, but most regions have peak fishing seasons between May and October. Alaska has the largest commercial fishery in the United States and seasonal peaks in Alaska (July/August, February/March) strongly influence seasonality in national landings. Misalignment between domestic production and consumption in some seasons and species groups creates opportunities for imports to supplement demand and lost opportunities for domestic producers.
This essay explores shifting scientific understandings of fish and the evolution of fisheries science, and it grapples with colonialism as a system of power. We trace the rise of fisheries science to a time when Western nation-states were industrializing fishing fleets and competing for access to distant fishing grounds. A theory of fishing called “maximum sustainable yield” (MSY) that understands fish species in aggregate was espoused. Although alternatives to MSY have been developed, decision-making continues to be informed by statistical models developed within fisheries science. A challenge for structured management systems now rests in attending to different systems of knowledge and addressing local objectives, values, and circumstances. To deepen and illustrate key points, we examine Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) and the expansion of commercial herring fisheries and state-led management in British Columbia, Canada. A feedback between colonialism and fisheries science is evident: colonialism generated the initial conditions for expansion and has been reinforced through the implementation of approaches and tools from fisheries science that define and quantify conservation in particular ways. Some features may be unique to the herring illustration, but important aspects of the feedback are more broadly generalizable. We propose three interconnected goals: (a) transform the siloed institutions and practices of Western science, (b) reimagine and rebuild pathways between information (including diverse values and perspectives) and decision-making, and (c) devolve governance authority and broaden governance processes such that multiple ways of knowing share equal footing.
Love, D., et al. “An overview of retail sales of seafood in the USA, 2017–2019.” Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture 30.2 (2022): 259-270.
While a large number of studies have investigated seafood consumption in various markets, surprisingly little is known about the types of seafood sold in retail outlets or their product forms in the USA. This is particularly true for fresh seafood, which is generally regarded as the most valuable product form of seafood. In this article, a unique dataset on retail in-store seafood sales that includes information about three main product forms (fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable products) was analyzed. Fresh seafood is important, as it makes up 43% of sales revenue. Moreover, some species are almost exclusively sold fresh, with trout and lobster as prime examples. Fresh also includes the greatest diversity of species and, as such, is the most likely product form for new producers to succeed. National sales are dominated by a few species, with salmon and shrimp accounting for a large portion of the fresh (27%) and frozen categories (43%), respectively, and tuna dominating the shelf-stable category (75%). There are also a large number of species with mostly small market shares. There are few differences in regional sales patterns for the main species, with notable exceptions such as whitefish in New England and crawfish in Louisiana and Texas. The degree of urbanization and income level appears as the important drivers for seafood sales.
Stoll, J., E. Fuller, B. Crona. (2017). Uneven adaptive capacity among fishers in a sea of change. PloS One.
Stoll, J. (2017). Fishing for leadership: the role diversification plays in facilitating change agents. Journal of Environmental Management.
Witter, A. and J. Stoll. (2017) Participation and resistance: alternative seafood marketing in a neoliberal era. Marine Policy.
Otto, S., S. Simon, J. Stoll, P. Lawson. (2016). Making progress on bycatch avoidance in the ocean salmon fishery using a transdisciplinary approach. ICES Journal of Marine Science 73: 2380-2394.
Stoll, J., C. Beitl, and J. Wilson. (2016). How access to Maine’s fisheries has changed over a quarter century: the cumulative effects of licensing on resilience. Global Environmental Change 37: 79-91.
Bolton, A., B. Dubik, J. Stoll, and X. Basurto. (2016). Describing the diversity of community supported fisheries in North America. Marine Policy 66: 21-29.
Stoll, J., P. Pinto da Silva, J. Olson, and S. Benjamin. (2015). Expanding the geography of resilience in fisheries: Seafood distribution in the Atlantic herring and spiny dogfish fisheries in New England. Ocean and Coastal Management 116: 185-192.
Stoll, J., B. Dubik and L. Campbell. (2015). Local seafood: rethinking the direct marketing paradigm. Ecology and Society. 20.
Stoll, J., and T. Johnson. (2015). Under the banner of sustainability: The politics and prose of an emerging US federal seafood certification. Marine Policy 51: 415-422.
Campbell, L. N. Boucquey, J. Stoll, H. Coppola, and M. Smith. (2014). From vegetable box to seafood cooler: applying the Community Supported Agriculture model to fisheries. Society and Natural Resources 27: 88-106.
Boucquey, N., L. Campbell, G. Cumming, Z. Meletis, C. Norwood, and J. Stoll. (2012). Interpreting amenities, envisioning the future: common ground and conflict in North Carolina’s rural coastal communities. GeoJournal. 77: 83-101.
Stoll, J. “A New Take on Working Waterfront in Coastal North Carolina.” A Sustainability Plan for the Walking Fish Cooperative. (2015).
Stoll, J., and M. Holliday. “The Design and Use of Fishing Communities and Regional Fishery Associations in Limited Access Privilege Programs.” Technical Guidance. U.S. Department of Commerce. NMFS-F/SPO-138. (2014).
Showalter, S., J. Stoll, et al. “Starting and Maintaining Community Supported Fishery Programs: A Resource Guide for Fishermen and Fishing Communities.” National Sea Grant Law Center. NSGLC-12-04-03. (2012).