Shrimp - 2013
Stock Status – Viable – The stock of shrimp is considered to be an annual crop that consists of three species: brown, pink, and white. The population size is determined mainly by recruitment and environmental conditions.
Average Commercial Landings and Value – 2003-2012 – 6,073,869 lbs./$11,448,447
2012 Commercial Landings and Value – 6,141,289 lbs./$13,294,014
Average Recreational Landings – Not available
Status of Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) – A state FMP was approved in April 2006 by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission. The plan included a 90-foot headrope limit in most internal waters, allowed skimmer trawls as a Recreational Commercial Gear License (RCGL) gear and made recommendations on the minimum shrimp size at which some water bodies open to trawling. The plan also closed some areas in the state to protect habitats and juvenile finfish and established a 48-quart limit on shrimp captured by individuals possessing a RCGL. A restriction on the use of shrimp trawls above the Highway 172 Bridge over New River took effect in 2010. The 2006 plan is currently being amended but to only address bycatch in commercial and recreational shrimp fishery.
Research and Data Needs – Standardized effort and bycatch estimation data. Trawling issue studies, including continuation of the development and testing of alternative gears for the trawl fishery, bycatch characterization and habitat impacts.
2012 Regulations – With a RCGL license and one person aboard a vessel, it is unlawful to possess more than 48 quarts, heads on, or 30 quarts, heads off, of shrimp. With a RCGL and more than one person aboard a vessel, all of whom possess a RCGL, it is unlawful to possess more than 96 quarts, heads on, or 60 quarts, heads off, of shrimp. When using a cast net there is a 100 shrimp per person per day limit in closed areas and a 48-quart limit in open shrimping areas. There is a 48 quart recreational limit for other gears in open shrimping areas.
Harvest Season – It is unlawful to take shrimp with nets until the fisheries director, by proclamation, opens the season in various waters. Proclamations may specify any hours of day or night or both and any other conditions appropriate to manage the fishery. Some waterbodies are open year round. Check with the Division of Marine Fisheries for which waterbodies are open.
Size and Age at Maturity – 3 – 5 inches/4 – 6 months
Historical and Current Maximum Age – 18 months/18 months (rare)
Juvenile Abundance Index 2003-2012/2012
Southern District – 62.5/ 49.5
Central District – South side of Neuse River/Pamlico Sound – 52.9/28.7
Core Sound – 189.1/104.7
Pamlico District – Hyde County – 86.6/87.7
Pamlico County – 37.6/35.4
Habits and Habitats – Shrimp are spawned offshore in the winter. Post-larval shrimp move from the ocean into the estuaries on wind and tide driven currents in early spring. Shrimp move into creek and river bottoms, and grassbeds where they grow rapidly, feeding on plant and animal material such as algae, worms, small fish, crabs and other shrimp. As the shrimp increase in size, they migrate from the upper reaches of small creeks to deeper saltier rivers and sounds. By late summer and fall, they return to the ocean to spawn.
For more information contact:
(Southern District) Chris Stewart at Chris.Stewart@ncdenr.gov or 800-248-4536 or 910-796-7215;
(Central District) Tina Moore at Tina.Moore@ncdenr.govor 800-682-2632 or 252-726-7021;
(Pamlico District) Jason Rock at Jason.Rock@ncdenr.gov or 800-338-7804 or 252-946-6481.