BRUNSWICK — The Georgia DNR has announced that Georgia’s food shrimp harvest season will be extended until 6:15 p.m. on Jan. 13.
Commercial shrimp trawlers may continue to operate east of the sound-beach boundary currently open to power-drawn trawls. Commercial and recreational cast-netters, as well as people using beach seines, can harvest food shrimp from waters open to the use of these gears.
Lindsey Aubart, marine biologist with the Coastal Resources Division, explained the extension, "December scientific surveys indicated shrimp size remains somewhat mixed but, overall, marketable shrimp can be found throughout coastal waters. These factors, along with currently stable environmental conditions and ongoing consumer demand for fresh, domestic shrimp, led to the recommendation to extend the food shrimp harvest season."
The department typically extends food shrimp season beyond the usual Dec. 31 closing date unless environmental conditions discourage it.
To date, 260 trawler licenses and 24 cast-net licenses have been issued for 2016-17. Trawler licenses sales are 10 percent below the 10-year average while cast-net license sales continue below the 200 license limit. Data collected via the Georgia trip ticket program indicate that 2016 ex-vessel prices are $1.72 per pound lower than last year. However, prices were high in 2015. The 2016 average price per pound is $4.04 which is 7 percent lower than the 5-year average of $4.35.
For more information, call the Coastal Resources Division office at 912-264-7218.