In August, a Drop in Texas Shrimp Landings Means Another Low Harvest

Yesterday, 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 August 2019.

NOAA reported that shrimp landings in the Gulf last month (13.3 million pounds) were the third lowest reported for any August since 2002. Commercial shrimp landings last month were 24.7 percent below the prior seventeen-year historic average of 17.7 million pounds for August.

Approximately half of the shrimp landed in the month of August has historically been in Texas waters. However, last month, just 5.2 million pounds of shrimp was landed in Texas. The only previous August where less shrimp was landed in the state took place in 2005.

Throughout the Gulf of Mexico, the numbers reported by NOAA in 2019 have been bleak. For the year, landings of shrimp in Louisiana (17.0 million pounds) are over 50 percent below the prior seventeen-year historical average (34.1 million pounds); shrimp landings on the west coast of Florida (2.5 million pounds) are over 44 percent below the prior seventeen-year historical average (4.5 million pounds); shrimp landings in Mississippi (2.4 million pounds) are over 42 percent below the prior seventeen-year historical average (4.2 million pounds); and shrimp landings in Texas (18.8 million pounds) are over 14 percent below the prior seventeen-year historical average (21.9 million pounds).

Last month, NOAA reported ex-vessel prices for all six count sizes of shrimp landed in the northern Gulf (Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi) and western Gulf (Texas). No ex-vessel prices were reported for the eastern Gulf (Florida west coast). In the northern Gulf and western Gulf, the ex-vessel prices reported for last month were roughly consistent with ex-vessel prices reported for shrimp landed in August of last year.

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 August 2002-2019 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for August 2001-2019: https://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/August-2019-Landings.pdf

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