The Fishery Monitoring Branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center has now released shrimp landings data from the Gulf of Mexico for October 2019.
NOAA reported that shrimp landings in the Gulf in October (11.2 million pounds) were higher than landings in October 2018 (10.4 million pounds). However, these landings were the second lowest for any October going back to 2002 and were 22.8 percent below the prior seventeen-year historic average (14.5 million pounds).
As a general matter, shrimp landings from the northern Gulf last month were significantly improved from previous Octobers. 5.2 million pounds of shrimp was landed in Louisiana, compared to 3.6 million pounds last year, and 4.9 million pounds in October of 2017. Landings in Alabama (1.3 million pounds) were almost as much as were landed in October 2017 (0.8 million pounds) and October 2018 (0.6 million pounds) combined. And landings in Mississippi (0.6 million pounds) were the highest reported for an October since 2014.
But this recovery was sharply offset by a significant decline in shrimp landings in Texas last month. While 5.6 million pounds of shrimp was landed in Texas in both October 2017 and October 2018, just 3.8 million pounds was landed last month.
That trade-off has continued what has been the worst year reported for shrimp landings volumes in the Gulf of Mexico in the dataset maintained by the Southern Shrimp Alliance. Through the first ten months of this year, 69.2 million pounds of shrimp have been landed in the Gulf, the lowest amount reported since 2002.
NOAA did not report ex-vessel prices for shrimp landed in the eastern Gulf (Florida west coast) and has not reported October prices for shrimp in that region since 2016. In addition, NOAA did not report ex-vessel prices for smaller-sized shrimp (31/35 count; 36/40 count; and 41/50 count) in the northern Gulf (Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi). However, NOAA did report ex-vessel prices for six count sizes of shrimp landed in the western Gulf (Texas). As a general matter, ex-vessel prices for larger sized shrimp (U15 count; 15/20 count; and 21/25 count) were at or above ex-vessel prices reported last October. On the other hand, ex-vessel prices for all smaller sized shrimp were reported to be below levels seen in October 2018.
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”
As previously noted, the numbers reported – and the ex-vessel prices that have not been reported – over the last several months by NOAA appear to indicate that port agents may have been unable to collect information in the same manner as they have done historically.
Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of October 2002-2019 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for October 2001-2019: