As 2020 Draws Near its End, Shrimpers Look to Turn the Page on a Bleak Year

Yesterday afternoon, 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 October.
Last month, 7.5 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf, far and away the lowest total reported for any October 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 10.4 million pounds in October of 2018. Landing volumes last month were 47.6 percent below the prior eighteen-year historic average of 14.3 million pounds for the month of October.
Throughout the entirety of the Gulf of Mexico, landings were lower last month than they were in October of last year. In Louisiana and on the west coast of Florida, reported shrimp landings hit an all-time low last month. Landings in Texas were the second lowest recorded in any October going back to 2002.
Through the first ten months of this year, NOAA reports that 58.0 million pounds of shrimp have been landed in the Gulf, down from 69.2 million pounds over the same time period last year, and the lowest volume reported for a January to October time period over the last nineteen years.
Shrimp landings in Louisiana continue to be at historic lows, with 17.5 million pounds of shrimp harvested this year. This volume is 62.0 percent below the prior eighteen-year historic average of 46.0 million pounds.
On the other hand, shrimp landings in Texas are slightly higher this year (26,646,000 pounds) than last year (26,632,000 pounds) and are just 19.2 percent below the prior eighteen-year historic average of 33.0 million pounds.
Ex-vessel prices for shrimp landed in the Western Gulf for all count sizes 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 for just two count sizes (15/20 and 21/25) in the eastern (Florida west coast ports) Gulf. The ex-vessel prices reported in the Western Gulf for smaller count sizes (31/35; 36/40; 41/50) were significantly higher than the ex-vessel prices reported for these count sizes in October 2019, while ex-vessel prices for all other count sizes were slightly higher or, in the case of U15 shrimp, below where they were last year at this time.
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 October 2002-2020 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for October 2001-2020: https://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/October-2020-Landings.pdf

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