USA: Brown shrimp commercial harvest to be developed from July 2014 through June 2015 in western Gulf of Mexico has been forecast to slightly worse than the average ones, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Based on monitoring of juvenile brown shrimp abundance, growth estimates and environmental indicators, NOAA scientists expect it to be 53.2 million pounds, which is slightly below the historical 52-year average of 56.5 million pounds in state and federal waters off Louisiana and federal waters off Texas.
The federal agency considers that most of the shrimp harvested in the United States - 68 per cent - comes from the Gulf of Mexico, especially Texas and Louisiana. The total domestic shrimp harvest brought in USD 518 million in 2011.
Scientists explain that juvenile specimens of this species begin entering estuaries in Texas and western Louisiana in mid-February and continue through July, with peak recruitment occurring from February through early April.
Due to below normal rainfall amounts and record low temperatures this winter and early spring in coastal areas of both Texas and western Louisiana, recruitment of brown shrimp into the bays occurred several weeks later compared to the same period in 2013.
Meanwhile, Mississippi shrimpers, who hope the season picks-up again after the strong start, are receiving a higher price for their catch this year thanks in large part to fewer imports after disease hampered the Asian shrimp production.
According to reports from the US Deparment of Commerce, shrimp imports have decreased 4.8 per cent from 2012 to 2013. Nearly 90 per cent of US shrimp imports come from Asian countries, and the shortage of shrimp in countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and China is putting upward pressure on US shrimp prices.