Another Month in 2020, Another Historic Low in Shrimp Landings in the Gulf of Mexico

This morning, the Fishery Monitoring Branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center released shrimp landings data from the Gulf of Mexico for the month of September.

Last month, 6.1 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf, the lowest total reported for any September in the historical database maintained by the Southern Shrimp Alliance going back to 2002.  Prior to this year, the smallest amount of shrimp harvested in the Gulf had been 8.4 million pounds in September of 2008.  The volume of shrimp landed in September was 52.1 percent below the prior eighteen-year historic average of 12.7 million pounds.

Landings in every part of the Gulf were lower last month than they were in September of last year.  For the first time this year, the most dramatic decline was experienced in Texas.  September shrimp landings in that state have averaged 5.6 million pounds during the eighteen-year period between 2002 and 2019.  Last month, less than 2.5 million pounds of shrimp were landed in Texas.

Through the first three quarters of this year, NOAA indicates that 50.4 million pounds of shrimp have been landed in the Gulf, down from 58.0 million pounds over the same time period last year, and the lowest volume reported for a January to September time period over the last nineteen years.

Shrimp landings in Louisiana continue to be at historic lows, with 14.8 million pounds of shrimp harvested this year.  This volume is 61.7 percent below the prior eighteen-year historic average of 38.7 million pounds and the lowest volume reported over the first nine months of the year in the last nineteen years.  Similarly, on the west coast of Florida, 2.4 million pounds of shrimp have been landed this year, the lowest volume reported for that area over the last nineteen years and 48.0 percent below the prior eighteen-year historic average of 4.7 million pounds.  And in Mississippi, 2.4 million pounds of shrimp have been landed so far this year, the second lowest total recorded over the last nineteen years and 48.4 percent below the prior eighteen-year historic average of 4.7 million pounds.

The poor harvest reported in Texas for the month of September has now dropped that state’s figures for this year below historical experience.  In total, the 23.1 million pounds of shrimp landed in Texas this year is 17.3 percent below the prior eighteen-year historic average of 27.9 million pounds over the first nine months of the year.  Shrimp landings in Texas this year are, nevertheless, higher than the 22.8 million pounds of shrimp landed in Texas from January to September of last year.

Landings in Alabama continue to be in line with prior historic experience.  At 7.7 million pounds, the shrimp harvest in Alabama for 2020 is 1.4 percent below the prior eighteen-year historic average of 7.8 million pounds.  The volume of shrimp caught in the state this year, however, is well below the 9.5 million pounds reported as landed over the same time period in 2019.

Ex-vessel prices for shrimp landed in the Western Gulf for all but one count size (41/50) were reported by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, while ex-vessel prices were reported in the northern (Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi) Gulf for just three count sizes (15/20; 21/25; and 26/30) and no ex-vessel prices were reported for the eastern (Florida west coast ports) Gulf.  Every ex-vessel price reported was significantly lower than the ex-vessel price reported in September 2019.

As in past months, NOAA’s monthly reporting of shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico continues to include the following disclaimer:

“BE ADVISED THAT THE SUMMARIES IN THIS REPORT ARE COLLECTED OR ESTIMATED BY THE FEDERAL PORT AGENTS AND MAY NOT REFLECT THE LANDINGS FROM THE STATES”

Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of September 2002-2020 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for September 2001-2020:  https://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/September-2020-Landings.pdf

 

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