BRUNSWICK — Georgia's food shrimp harvest season has come to an end for the year with the official closing Tuesday afternoon.
Food shrimp season automatically closes on Dec. 31 unless extended by action of the state Commissioner of Natural Resources.
“During December, our coastwide trawl survey showed white shrimp abundance well below the long-term average,” explained Jim Page, marine biologist with the Coastal Resources Division. “Therefore ... we recommend the food shrimp season close at the end of the month.”
The closure affects all food shrimp harvesting activities, including commercial trawling, commercial and recreational food shrimp cast netting, and shrimp seining on the beaches. Anglers and commercial bait shrimp dealers can still harvest shrimp for use as bait.
“Food shrimp is the most valuable component of Georgia’s seafood industry,” Page said. “Thus far during the 2013 season slightly over 1 million pounds has been reported with a value of around $5 million.
“White shrimp caught during the September through December period typically accounts for over 50 percent of the annual harvest of food shrimp. The low abundance of white shrimp this autumn means harvesters and associated businesses will see less income than in typical years.”
For more information on the closing of the food shrimp season, please contact the Coastal Resources Division office at (912) 264-7218.