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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Shrimp - stock status report

Marine Fisheries

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Shrimp

Shrimp

Stock Status – Viable – This annual stock consists of three species: brown shrimp, pink shrimp and white shrimp.

Average Commercial Landings and Value – 2001-2010 – 6,469,863 lbs./$12,061,852

2010 Commercial Landings and Value – 5,956,137 lbs./$10,692,301

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 includes a 90-foot headrope limit in most internal waters, allows skimmer trawls as a Recreational Commercial Gear License (RCGL) gear and makes recommendations on the minimum shrimp size at which some water bodies are opened 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.

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.

Current 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. With any other recreational gear there is a 48-quart limit 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 2001-2010/2010 *(validated; brown shrimp only)
 Southern District – 68/ 81
       Central District – South side of Neuse River/Pamlico Sound – 61.9/63.7
                     Core Sound – 528/157.4
       Pamlico District – Hyde County – 99.7/146.3
                     Pamlico County – 35.8/25.9

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.

*Average number of shrimp per one-minute tow.

For more information contact:
(Southern District) Rich Carpenter at Rich.Carpenter@ncdenr.gov or 1-800-248-4536 or (910) 796-7215; (Central District) Tina Moore at Tina.Moore@ncdenr.gov or 1-800-682-2632 or (252) 726-7021;
(Pamlico District) Sean McKenna at Sean.Mckenna@ncdenr.gov or 1-800-338-7804 or (252) 946-6481. 

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-2632

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