Shrimp Fishery Research in the Southeast
We monitor shrimp stocks and evaluate shrimp fishery impacts on protected species and other fisheries.
The objectives of our program are to assess and monitor shrimp stocks and to evaluate shrimp fishery impacts on protected species and other fisheries. A port agent data collection system, established in 1960, provides the fishery dependent data needed to parameterize the Stock Synthesis stock assessment model, virtual population analysis, surplus production models, and overfishing index analysis. The shrimp fishery data collected by port agents includes pounds, value, size composition, and effort.
Activities currently undertaken by the shrimp fishery research scientists include:
Stock assessment modeling and monitoring of the shrimp species in the Gulf of Mexico and along the east coast of the United States.
Characterization and trend analysis of the two EEZ closures in the Gulf of Mexico.
Bio-economic model development to assess impacts of various closure options.
Monitoring shrimping effort trends and modeling effects on non-target species.
Development of ecosystem based fishery models that will be used to forecast shrimp harvest, evaluate impacts on bycatch, and evaluate management options.
These research activities are accomplished through the following projects.
We determine impacts of the present federal management measures on the shrimp fishery and evaluate alternate management regimes to increase economic benefits to the shrimp fishery. The Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery landed 111.4 million pounds of shrimp tails, valued at $331.1 million, in 2010. It is imperative that this major fishery is managed properly so that all users can benefit from this resource. Annual stock assessments are required to minimize risk of growth and recruitment overfishing. The evolution of both federal closures in the shrimp fishery is based on yield per recruit, reducing the probability of growth overfishing. In addition, methods for controlling mortality must be examined. Stock assessment models must be expanded to include economic aspects.
Shrimp Stock Assessment
We monitor the trends in the shrimp fishery, conduct stock assessment analyses, determine if stocks are in a state of recruitment overfishing, evaluate management options to increase economic benefits to the shrimp fishery, and develop better predictive stock assessment models. Several of the most important fishery species in the United States are in the Southeast Region. Among the more productive species of commercial fisheries are brown, white, and pink shrimp. Each species requires an annual assessment of stock condition, the fishery, and sectors of the economy that are impacted by changes in either. Assessments are also needed so that the fishery management councils can determine whether or not a stock is overfished.
Information Transfer for Shrimp Fisheries
We provide detailed and summary catch and effort statistics, information needed for fisheries management of national and international migratory stocks. Regular data exchanges and participation in meetings, workshops, symposiums, publications, and cooperative research, assure that the best scientific knowledge available concerning living marine resources and habitat conservation is conveyed to fishery managers and decision makers.
Forecasting Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Harvests
We produce shrimp fishery forecasts used by resource managers and commercial and recreational fishermen. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has requested advance notice for harvests of brown shrimp off Texas and Louisiana and for pink shrimp off Florida. This project produces annual forecasts for the Texas and Louisiana brown shrimp harvests (in June) and for the Tortugas pink shrimp harvest (in January). These forecasts allow management agencies to adjust measures ensuring productivity.
Revision of a Trophic Model for Assessment of Ecological Interactions Among Shrimp and Bottomfish Assemblages
We revise and update a trophic ecosystem model for assessment of impacts of shrimp trawl bycatch mortalities on trophic structure, nutrient cycling, and fishery yields of Gulf of Mexico shrimp and finfish stocks. The southeastern shrimp trawl fishery impacts commercial and recreational fish. Several of these fisheries have been declared overfished, and incidental catch must be quantified and reduced. Ecological bycatch model reports and model revision provides updated analyses regarding the impacts of the Gulf shrimp fishery on stock dynamics of bycatch species.