Pink Shrimp

Pink Shrimp

Farfantepenaeus duorarum

ALSO KNOWN AS:

    Spotted Shrimp, Hopper, Pink Spotted Shrimp, Brown Spotted Shrimp, Grooved Shrimp, Green Shrimp, Pink Night Shrimp, Red Shrimp, Skipper, Pushed Shrimp

SOURCE:

    U.S. wild-caught from North Carolina to Texas, but mainly from Florida
 

STATUS

  • POPULATION
  • FISHING RATE
  • HABITAT IMPACTS
  • BYCATCH
 

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OVERVIEW

Pink shrimp typically have a dark colored spot on each side between their third and fourth abdominal segments. Photo credit: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Pink shrimp typically have a dark colored spot on each side between their third and fourth abdominal segments. Photo credit: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

LAUNCH GALLERY

Pink shrimp is one of the three species of penaeid shrimp harvested in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Fisheries for brown, pink, and white shrimp are some of the most valuable fisheries in the southeastern United States. Nearly 85 percent of the pink shrimp harvested in the United States comes from the west coast of Florida. Prized for their sweet, tender meat, pink shrimp are caught fresh year-round, but are more abundant during winter months.

Shrimp are essentially an “annual crop” – most shrimp do not survive longer than 2 years. Although scientists monitor shrimp abundance to ensure the stock is healthy, abundance is not an important consideration for fishery managers as with other seafood species. Instead, managers consider historic harvest amounts and fishing rates in developing a management strategy for the fishery. They also look at the amount of surviving parents and environmental conditions, such as weather and water temperatures. As long as environmental conditions are favorable, shrimp are very productive and can rebound from low abundance one year to high abundance the next.

Although shrimp populations are fairly resilient to fishing pressure, commercial shrimp fisheries can impact the abundance of other species, including finfish and sea turtles. To reduce bycatch of finfish, shrimp trawlers must have bycatch reduction devices (BRDs), which are designed to retain shrimp but allow fish to exit the net. They must also comply with federal sea turtle conservation requirements, including using Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs). A TED is a grid of bars with an opening at either the top or bottom of the trawl net. The grid is fitted into the neck of a shrimp trawl. Small animals such as shrimp can pass through the grid, but it stops large animals such as sea turtles and they can escape through the opening, relatively unharmed.

Looking Ahead

Shrimp remains one of our favorite types of seafood. Although our shrimp fisheries are among the largest and highest valued in the United States, farm-raised imports make up the majority of our shrimp supply. In fact, shrimp imports make up nearly 30 percent of all seafood we import (in value). We mainly import shrimp from Southeast Asian countries, followed by Ecuador and Mexico.

 
 
 

LOCATION & HABITAT

Pink shrimp are found in the western north Atlantic from southern Chesapeake Bay to the Florida Keys, and around the coast of the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan south of Cabo Catoche, Mexico. They’re most abundant off southwestern Florida and the southeastern Gulf of Campeche.

Young shrimp live and grow in nursery areas with marsh grasses (Spartina alterniflora and Juncus spp. in the South Atlantic and Gulf). These grassy areas offer abundant food and shelter. As they grow, they migrate seaward to deeper, saltier water. They travel primarily at night especially at or shortly after dusk and bury themselves in the bottom substrate during the day. Smaller pink shrimp remain in the estuary during winter. They bury themselves deep in the substrate to protect themselves from cold weather. Shrimp that survive the winter grow rapidly in late winter and early spring before migrating to the ocean. Pink shrimp are commonly found on sand, sand-shell, or coral-mud bottoms.

 
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BIOLOGY

Shrimp grow fairly fast, depending on factors such as water temperature and salinity, and can reach over 8 inches in length. They have a short life span, usually less than 2 years. Pink shrimp are able to reproduce when they reach about 3.3 inches long. Off North Carolina, they spawn in May through July; in Florida they spawn multiple times, peaking from April through July when the water is warmest. Males mate with females and anchor their sperm to the females. Females typically release about 500,000 to 1 million eggs near the ocean floor; the eggs are fertilized as they are released. Newly hatched shrimp travel to their estuarine nursery habitats in late spring and early summer, propelled by shoreward currents. They return to the ocean as adults in a few months.

Juvenile and adult shrimp are omnivorous, feeding on copepods, small mollusks, diatoms, algae, plant detritus, bacterial films, slime molds, and yeast. Shrimp is a major source of food for many forms of marine life. Sheepshead minnows, water boatmen, and insect larvae eat postlarval shrimp; grass shrimp, killifishes, and blue crabs prey on young shrimp; and a wide variety of finfish feed heavily on juvenile and adult shrimp.

 
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PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

Pink shrimp are crustaceans with 10 slender, relatively long walking legs and five pairs of swimming legs located on the front surface of the abdomen. They are grooved on the back surface of the shell and part of their shell is a well-developed, toothed rostrum that extends to or beyond the outer edge of the eyes. Pink shrimp typically have a dark colored spot on each side between their third and fourth abdominal segments. Their tail usually has a dark blue band (rather than the purplish band found on brown shrimp).

 
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OVERVIEW

Shrimp are essentially an “annual crop” – most shrimp do not survive longer than 2 years. Although scientists monitor shrimp abundance to ensure the stock is healthy, abundance is not an important consideration for fishery managers as with other seafood species. Instead, managers consider historic harvest amounts and fishing rates in developing a management strategy for the fishery. They also look at the amount of surviving parents and environmental conditions, such as weather and water temperatures. As long as environmental conditions are favorable, shrimp are very productive and can rebound from low abundance one year to high abundance the next.

 
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POPULATION STATUS

Based on the stock assessment completed in 2012, in the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic, pink shrimp is abundant (not overfished). The South Atlantic stock will be evaluated again in September 2013. Pink shrimp is essentially an “annual crop,” and in the past stock size has declined due to unfavorable environmental conditions rather than fishing pressure. However, because stock status can vary widely from year to year, managers are considering revising their definitions of overfished and overfishing for pink shrimp.

 
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Harvesting pink shrimp

Commercial fishermen harvest shrimp with trawls. Shrimp trawlers tow cone-shaped nets through the water near the ocean floor. The nets are wide in the front and taper toward the back, where the captured shrimp and any incidentally caught species are concentrated.

Trawl vessels fishing for shrimp must comply with federal sea turtle conservation requirements, including the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), a grid of bars with an opening at either the top or bottom of the trawl net that allows larger animals, such as turtles, to escape. When properly installed and maintained, TEDs effectively reduce sea turtle deaths. In 2010 and 2011, NOAA recorded a spike in the number of sea turtle strandings in the Gulf of Mexico, and analyses suggested many turtles stranded because of interactions with the trawl fishery. Managers, enforcement officers, and the shrimp industry are working to ensure proper compliance with TED requirements to reduce sea turtle bycatch in the southeastern shrimp fishery. Shrimp trawlers must also use bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) to reduce finfish bycatch. BRDs are installed behind the TED, and enable finfish to swim out of the cod-end of the trawl where the shrimp are captured. 

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Management

Who’s in charge? NOAA Fisheries and the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils manage shrimp fisheries in offshore federal waters; state resource management agencies are responsible for inshore state waters.

Current management:

South Atlantic: Shrimp Fishery Management Plan

  • Fishermen must have a permit to harvest shrimp in federal waters of the South Atlantic. They must submit reports on catch and fishing effort for each fishing trip and carry a fishery observer on selected trips. Observers collect data on the catch, bycatch, fishing effort, and fishing gear. Information collected through reports and observers helps scientists and managers better monitor and manage the fishery.

Gulf of Mexico: Shrimp Fishery Management Plan

  • Fishermen must have a permit to harvest shrimp in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There is currently a moratorium on issuing new permits to reduce the number of boats participating in the fishery and help it operate more profitably and efficiently.
  • Fishermen must submit reports on catch and fishing effort for each fishing trip. They must install an electronic logbook and/or carry a fishery observer on selected trips. Observers collect data on the catch, bycatch, fishing effort, and fishing gear. Information collected through reports and observers helps scientists and managers better monitor and manage the fishery.
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Annual Harvest

The three species of penaeid shrimp (white, pink, and brown) make up more than 99 percent of the shrimp harvested in the Gulf of Mexico. White and brown shrimp dominate the annual shrimp harvests in the South Atlantic. Nearly 85 percent of the pink shrimp harvested in the United States comes from the west coast of Florida. In 2011, more than 8.5 million pounds of pink shrimp was harvested from the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Annual harvests of penaeid shrimp vary considerably from year to year, mainly due to environmental conditions. For example, white shrimp harvests are much lower in years following severe winter weather. Fishing effort and market prices also influence annual harvests.

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Economy

The commercial shrimp fishery is one of the most economically important fisheries in the southeast. The 2011 commercial harvest of pink shrimp from the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico was worth more than $417 million.

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Recreational

Recreational fishermen catch pink shrimp seasonally and almost always in state waters. State regulations vary state by state.

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OVERVIEW

Pink shrimp are one of the three species of penaeid shrimp (warmwater shrimp commonly harvested in the southeast). Penaeid shrimp are generally flavorful and sweet, but vary slightly in taste according to the species. Pinks are tender and sweet. Whites are sweet and slightly firmer. Browns are firm and sometimes have slight iodine taste. It can be hard to tell these shrimp apart, partly because all raw shrimp meat is translucent pink to gray in color. When cooked, their shells are pinkish-red and their meat is pearly white with pink and red shadings. (Seafood Business, 2011) disclaimer

 
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SEASONAL AVAILABILITY

Year-round, with peaks in the winter.

 
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NUTRITION

Shrimp is low in saturated fat and is a very good source of protein, selenium, and vitamin B12.

Servings 1
Serving Weight 100 g (raw)
Calories 106
Protein 20.31 g
Fat, total 1.73 g
Saturated fatty acids, total 0.328 g
Carbohydrate 0.91 g
Sugars, total 0 g
Fiber, total dietary 0 g
Cholesterol 152 mg
Selenium 38 mcg
Sodium 148 mg

Pink shrimp Table of Nutrition

 
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