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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 38 Shrimp SSR 2015

Marine Fisheries

Shrimp

Shrimp — 2015

Stock Status - Viable – The stock of shrimp is considered to be an annual crop that consists of three species: brown, pink, and white, and its fisheries in all coastal fishing waters of North Carolina, which includes the Atlantic Ocean offshore to three miles. The population size is determined mainly by recruitment and environmental conditions.

Average Commercial Landings and Value2005-2014 – 5,923,323 lbs./$12,119,770

2014 Commercial Landings and Value – 4,683,648 lbs./$14,131,148

Average Recreational Landings Not available

Status of Fishery 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. Amendment 1 was adopted in February 2015 and recommended a wider range of certified bycatch reduction devices to choose from, the requirement of two bycatch reduction devices in shrimp trawls and skimmer trawls, and increased the daily harvest limit for cast nets in closed areas. An industry workgroup is currently working to test gear modifications to reduce bycatch to the extent practicable with a 40 percent target reduction in the shrimp trawl fishery.

Research and Data Needs – Standardized effort and bycatch reduction studies. Continuation of the development and testing of alternative gears for the trawl fishery, bycatch characterization and habitat impacts.

2014 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. There is a 48 quart recreational limit for cast nest and other gears in open shrimping areas. Beginning on May 1, 2015, when using a cast net it is unlawful to possess no more than 4 quarts, heads on, or 2 and one half quarts, heads off, shrimp per person per day in closed areas. Please check with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries for specific gear requirements and open areas to taking shrimp with nets as they can vary by fishery and area.

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 2005-2014/2014

New and Cape Fear rivers, Shallotte and Stump sounds – 62.4/39.1
South side of Neuse River/Pamlico Sound – 40.0/9.7
Core Sound –144.3/38.0
Hyde County – 88.1/88.1
Pamlico County – 39.2/35.8

Habits and Habitats – Shrimp spawn 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 910-796-7370
(Central District) Tina Moore at Tina.Moore@ncdenr.gov or 800-682-2632 or 252-808-8082
(Pamlico District) Jason Rock at Jason.Rock@ncdenr.gov or 800-338-7804 or 252-252-948-3874

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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