This 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 April.
Last month, 2.3 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf of Mexico, up slightly from 2.2 million pounds in April of 2020. The volume of shrimp landed in the region last month was 15.0 percent below the prior nineteen-year historical average of 2.7 million pounds for the month.
Through the first third of 2021, a total of 12.5 million pounds of shrimp landed across the Gulf of Mexico, 5.4 percent above the prior twenty-year historical average of 11.8 million pounds. Over half of these landings were in Texas, where the 6.5 million pounds of shrimp harvested over the first four months of this year is far and away the highest total reported in the dataset maintained by the Southern Shrimp Alliance going back to 2001. Landings in Louisiana over the first four months of the year were reported to be 2.3 million pounds, above the total through April of 2020 (2.1 million pounds) as well as through April of 2019 (1.5 million pounds). Similarly, shrimp landings so far this year on the west coast of Florida (1.4 million pounds) were higher than the first third of 2020 (1.1 million pounds) and the first four months of 2019 (1.2 million pounds). In Alabama, 2.2 million pounds of shrimp have been landed thus far in 2021 compared to 1.7 million pounds landed in the first four months of 2020.
The overall significance of Gulf shrimp landings over the first four months of the year is limited. Historically, the first third of the year only accounts for between 7 and 16 percent of the total annual harvest of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ex-vessel prices for shrimp landed in March in the western Gulf for all count sizes were reported by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, while ex-vessel prices were not reported by NOAA for the eastern Gulf (Florida west coast) nor for the northern Gulf (Alabama, Louisiana, & Mississippi). With the exceptions of one count size (31/35) shrimp, the ex-vessel prices reported for in the western Gulf were significantly above the ex-vessel prices for the same count sizes as reported in April 2020.
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”
The landing numbers reported – and the ex-vessel prices that have not been reported – throughout the last couple of years 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 April 2002-2021 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for April 2001-2021 in the Gulf of Mexico: https://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/April-2021-Landings.pdf