Sea Technology

JAN 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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www.sea-technology.com January 2018 | ST 43 How that will translate into actual practice remains to be seen. ST Review&Forecast Firing Line Report By Aileen Torres-Bennett Managing Editor Sea Technology magazine F or our latest survey on the marine industry, we received responses from around the world, reflecting the continued international mix of our readership. The majority of participants, 48.5 percent, come from the United States. The second largest group, 36.4 percent, comes from Europe. Participants from Asia made up 9.1 percent of survey respondents, and Canadians made up 6.1 percent of respondents this year. Sales Volume We asked participants about the volume of their sales in 2017, and 39.4 percent said 2017 sales were level with 2016, while 33.3 percent said the volume of sales decreased and 27.3 percent said sales increased com- pared to 2016. Looking ahead to 2018, optimism was prevalent among survey participants: 75.8 percent expect the vol- ume of sales to increase in the upcoming year. Those who expect sales to be level with 2017 made up 21.2 percent of respondents. Only 3 percent expected a downturn in sales for 2018. Product Categories Survey participants weighed in on the degrees of ac- tivity in certain product categories, and the most active category turned out to be software/data processing. Oth- er prominent categories include acoustic sensor systems, communications/telemetry, echosounders, electrical equipment, fiber-optic systems, GPS/DGPS navigation systems, mapping/survey systems, radar systems, sens- ing/measuring/sampling systems, sonars and underwater vehicles. Customers Respondents reported that most of their customers come from academia/research institutions and military and civilian government agencies. We asked respondents to tell us which customer base has the greatest growth potential and why. One respondent pointed to increasing military budgets. Another respondent called out a grow- ing interest in marine research in the academic realm. "Specific clients requiring submarine cable design, analysis and predictable performance," was the descrip- tion of one respondent. fish and seafood products in 2016. Americans contin- ue to eat most of their seafood in restaurants, spending $63.4 billion in food-service purchases (restaurants, take-out, caterers, etc.). About $29.8 billion was spent on seafood for at-home preparation and consumption. Shrimp remained the top choice for U.S. consumers, as it has for the last several years. Salmon, canned tuna, tilapia and Alaska pollock rounded out the top five list of most popular species. Trailing pollock were pangasius (or so-called imported catfish), cod, crab, catfish and clams to complete the top 10 list. These top 10 species, by the way, make up more than 90 percent of all the seafood Americans eat. Aquaculture Production U.S. aquaculture production increased slightly in 2015 (the most recent year for which statistics are avail- able). In 2015, estimated U.S. aquaculture production (freshwater and marine) was 627.4 million lb. with a val- ue of $1.4 billion. This represented an increase of about 19.6 million lb., or 3.2 percent, and an increase of about $61.5 million in value, up 4.6 percent. While freshwater aquaculture production has been declining generally since 2009, 2013 production showed an increase of 10 percent, followed by a decline in 2014, and back up again slightly in 2015. Marine production grew slightly as well, up by 6 mil- lion lb., about 6.6 percent, and up $7.9 million in value, about 2.1 percent. Freshwater production is primarily comprised of cat- fish (317.4 million lb.), crawfish (140.4 million lb.) and trout (45.8 million lb.). Atlantic salmon is the leading species for marine fin- fish aquaculture (47.5 million lb.), while oysters have the highest volume (35.2 million lb.) for marine shellfish production. The Look Ahead Commercial landings of wild-caught species are not expected to show significant growth going forward due to a limited resource pool and strict management mea- sures. While many commercial fishermen would like to have more access to the nation's fisheries, regulators would argue that current management practices are ensuring harvesting practices that are sustainable and adequately protect ocean resources. U.S. aquaculture production, on the other hand, has the potential to see substantial growth. The U.S. currently ranks 16th among all nations in aquaculture output, de- spite an enormous domestic market, which is currently served largely by imports. There are signs that could change. Chris Oliver, the recently appointed head of NOAA Fisheries, has called aquaculture "a resource-efficient method of increasing and diversifying U.S. seafood pro- duction that can expand and stabilize U.S. seafood sup- ply in the face of environmental change and economic uncertainty."

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