This morning, the Fishery Monitoring Branch of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center released shrimp landings data from the Gulf of Mexico for March 2019.
NOAA reports that last month 2.37 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf of Mexico, slightly below the 2.48 million pounds landed in March 2018 but slightly above the 2.36 million pound historical average of the prior eighteen (18) years. The volume of shrimp landed in Louisiana last month (0.44 million pounds) was over twice the amount landed in the state in March of 2018 (0.21 million pounds), and landings in Texas (1.3 million pounds) were also significantly higher than March of last year (0.99 million pounds). These increases in volume were offset by poor results from the West Coast of Florida, where 0.23 million pounds of shrimp were reported landed last month, the lowest for any March in the Southern Shrimp Alliance’s dataset going back to 2001.
Overall, NOAA reports that 6.8 million pounds of shrimp have been landed in the Gulf of Mexico through the first quarter of this year. This is the lowest volume of shrimp to have been landed in the Gulf of Mexico over the first quarter of any year going back to 2001.
As the Southern Shrimp Alliance noted last month, these low volumes may be the result of problems with data reporting in three of the five states in the Gulf of Mexico. No shrimp landings have been reported in Mississippi for the quarter of this year, while landings reported on the west coast of Florida are over sixty percent below the prior 18-year historic average and, by far, the lowest reported over the last nineteen years. At the same time, landings in Louisiana over the first quarter are reported to be nearly sixty percent below the prior 18-year historic average. This reporting is inconsistent with NOAA’s reporting for Alabama and Texas, where shrimp landing volumes this year have been in line with shrimp landings over the first quarter in those states the previous four years.
NOAA was unable to report ex-vessel prices for any count size of shrimp landed in eastern Gulf (the west coast of Florida) in March. For the northern (Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi) and western (Texas) Gulf, ex-vessel prices for all shrimp were significantly below the prices reported for the same count sizes in March 2018.
Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of March 2001-2019 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for March 2001-2019: http://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/March-2019-Landings.pdf