NOAA Issues Incomplete Landings Data for November 2019

The Fishery Monitoring Branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center has released “incomplete” shrimp landings data from the Gulf of Mexico for November 2019.

Specifically, NOAA’s reported shrimp statistics for last month indicate that Texas landing data reflect “Incomplete Reporting.” Shrimp landings in Texas for November were reported to be just 1.3 million pounds, an amount that is 64.0 percent below the prior seventeen-year historical average for the month (3.6 million pounds).

The lack of complete reporting for Texas meant that shrimp landings throughout the Gulf of Mexico were reported to be just 5.7 million pounds last month, the lowest reported for any November in the historical dataset maintained by the Southern Shrimp Alliance and 51.2 percent below the prior seventeen-year historical average for the month (11.7 million pounds).

Moreover, NOAA did not report ex-vessel prices for shrimp landed in the eastern Gulf (Florida west coast) or the western Gulf (Texas), and only reported prices in the northern Gulf (Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi) for three count sizes (15/20 count; 21/25 count; and 26/30 count). These limited data show ex-vessel prices for these count sizes higher in November 2019 than they were in November 2018.

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 – throughout this year by NOAA appear to indicate that port agents may have been unable to collect information in the same manner as they have done historically.

Likely because of serious, uncorrected data collection problems rather than issues with the commercial shrimp fishery, overall shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico over the first eleven months of this year are reported to be, by far, the lowest ever reported by NOAA. At 74.9 million pounds, NOAA’s incomplete reporting for 2019 shows a smaller shrimp harvest than even 2010 (84.9 million pounds), when the BP Oil Spill substantially reduced shrimp landings.

Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of November 2002-2019 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for November 2001-2019: https://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/November-2019-Landings.pdf

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