Technology has improved production of aquaculture products and reduced unit costs such that reasonably dependable supplies of fish and seafood are available to the markets. This study describes current distribution channels at the wholesale and retail levels for farm-raised and wild-caught species in the North Central Region (NCR), and evaluates both buyer attitudes towards farm-raised products and interest in specific species. Suppliers of fish and seafood products are experiencing a growth in consumer demand. United States per capita consumption of edible fish and seafood increased from 12.8 pounds in 1980 to 15.9 pounds in 1989, and is expected to reach more than 20 pounds per capita by the year 2000 (U.S. Department of Commerce 1990). This is attributed to increased average income, changing consumer demographics, and the present wave of health consciousness (Blaylock et al. 1987). As “Baby Boomers” approach middle age and the number of senior citizens increase, the health benefits derived from eating fish are becoming important issues.
Iowa State University