Alabama Shrimp

Introduction

Brown shrimp

Shrimp is by far the largest fishery in the state of Alabama. Close to 70% of the state’s total commercial harvest is shrimp, mainly brown (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) and white (Litopenaeus setiferus), though Alabama also lands a small amount of pink (Farfantepenaeus duorarum), rock (Sicyonia brevirostris), and royal red (Pleoticus robustus) shrimp. In 2015, shrimp landings were approximately 20 million pounds with a value of $44 million. Skimmer nets and otter trawls are typically used in the Alabama shrimp fishery.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division (AMRD) is responsible for fisheries management within state waters, which extend three miles from the coast. AMRD monitors the shrimp populations during the year with monthly trawls, and the data collected during this sampling determines when shrimp season is opened. Seasons are not opened until the majority of the population has reached marketable size, which is usually in the early summer. Federal waters off the state of Alabama are open year-round. There are several management measures in place to ensure the sustainability of the shrimp fishery. Commercial shrimp vessels are not allowed to fish inside rivers, within oyster beds, or within sea grass beds. This protects the habitat of many commercially and recreationally significant species. Turtle Exclusion Devices (TEDs) are required in otter trawls to reduce the catch of sea turtles. Skimmer trawls are not required to use TEDs, but must adhere to tow times.

For more information about the Alabama shrimp fishery, visit FINFO.

For more information about the shrimp fishery in federal waters, visit FishWatch.

Alabama Shrimp Action Plan

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