The Georgia’s food shrimp harvest season will close at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, December 31, 2015. Food shrimp season automatically closes on December 31 unless extended by action of the Commissioner of Natural Resources.
This closure includes all food shrimp harvesting activities, including commercial trawling, commercial and recreational food shrimp cast netting, and shrimp seining on the beaches. Anglers and commercial bait shrimp dealers can still harvest shrimp for use as bait.
“Although December water temperatures have been above normal, our coast wide trawl survey showed shrimp abundance in the coastal waters of Georgia to be significantly below the long-term average. Additionally, many of the shrimp remaining inside the estuaries are small and not of marketable size. Therefore, based on our data and input from the Shrimp Advisory Panel, we recommended to Commissioner Mark Williams that the food shrimp harvest season close at the end of the month,” explained Jim Page, marine biologist with the Coastal Resources Division.
“It’s uncommon for our Shrimp Advisory Panel to reach such a clear consensus on season openings and closures,” said Patrick Geer, Chief of Marine Fisheries. “However, given the poor catches recently observed, many of the members felt that extending the season was not prudent. Given the results of our independent trawl survey, the Department was in full agreement with allowing the season to close at the end of December.”
For more information on the closing of the food shrimp season, please contact the Coastal Resources Division office at (912) 264-7218.