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Nothing fishy about tilapia's growing appeal to US palates

Although some Americans may still be unfamiliar with tilapia, no other seafood is increasing faster in popularity on dinner plates, according to the National Fisheries Institute. It says this mild white fish native to Africa and the Middle East has moved ahead of crab, cod, and clams over the past several years and now is No. 6 in the seafood Top 10 standings. Not only is it widely available on restaurant menus, but many grocery stores also sell frozen tilapia at affordable prices. These help to explain why US consumption of farm-raised tilapia, a budding staple of aquaculture, grew 21 percent between 2004 and 2005. The most popular species of seafood in the US, in pounds consumed per capita, based on 2005 data (the most recent available) from the National Fisheries Institute:

1. Shrimp 4.10
2. Canned tuna 3.10
3. Salmon 2.43
4. Pollock 1.47
5. Catfish 1.03
6. Tilapia 0.85
7. Crab 0.64
8. Cod 0.57
9. Clams 0.44
10. Flatfish 0.37

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