Data published by NOAA regarding shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico for March 2015 has now been made available.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance’s analysis of NOAA data indicates that shrimp landings last month (1.7 million pounds) were lower than the volume of shrimp caught in March 2014 (2.0 million pounds) and were a full twenty-five percent (25%) lower than the previous fourteen year historical average (2.2 million pounds).
The low harvest numbers in March are the product of historically poor landings in Louisiana and Texas.
In Louisiana, the 147,000 pounds of shrimp landed in March was the lowest for any March reported in data available to the Southern Shrimp Alliance and nearly sixty-eight percent (68%) below the fourteen year historical average. The March 2015 landings volume was unprecedented – with the next lowest reported in Louisiana being 247,000 pounds in March 2008.
At the same time, in Texas, the 435,000 pounds of shrimp landed in March was the lowest volume reported for the month since 2008 (168,000 pounds). It was the fourth-lowest volume of shrimp landed in Texas for the month of March over the last fifteen years and was nearly forty-eight percent (48%) below the fourteen year historical average.
The extremely low landing volumes reported in Louisiana and Texas were balanced, in part, by significantly higher reported landings in Alabama and the west coast of Florida.
The 420,000 pounds of shrimp landed in Alabama in March was the highest total for that state since March 2012 and the fourth highest total reported for a March over the last fifteen years. Alabama’s March 2015 shrimp harvest was nearly 42% above the historical average.
In Florida, the 666,000 pounds of shrimp landed on the west coast of the state was lower than what was reported in March 2014 (742,000 pounds), but was higher than every other March since 2007. The west coast of Florida’s March 2015 landings were two percent (2%) above the fourteen year historical average.
For the year, while landings in the Gulf of Mexico are higher this year (7.9 million pounds) than last year (7.5 million pounds), they are fourteen percent (14%) below the fourteen year historical average. Similarly, landings in Louisiana are higher (2.5 million pounds) than they were last year through the first three months (2.4 million pounds), but the total amount of shrimp landed in the state is nearly twenty-three percent (23%) below the fourteen year historical average. Landings in the first three months of this year in Texas (2.4 million pounds) are eighteen percent (18%) below the fourteen year historical average.
In contrast to the other Gulf states, Alabama’s shrimp landings thus far in 2015 (1.5 million pounds) are the second highest recorded over the last fifteen years (surpassed only by the 1.8 million pounds of shrimp landed in the first three months of 2010). In total, Alabama’s shrimp harvest this year is more than fifty percent (50%) higher than the fourteen year historical average.
Nevertheless, the limited total production in the first three months of 2015 corresponds with yet another strong month of ex-vessel prices as reported by NOAA. Looking across count sizes, ex-vessel prices remained at or near historic highs in 2015, with the large (U15) count size reaching a record level based on the month of March data reported going back to 2001, and medium (26-30) and small (41-50) count size prices being reported at amounts significantly in excess of what was reported for the month of March between 2002 and 2013.
Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of March 2015 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices: