Shrimp Season – The Island Eye News
By SC Department of Natural Resources for Island Eye News
Commercial shrimp trawling opened in all legal waters of South Carolina at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Georgian authorities have yet to set an opening date for the trawling season. in the waters of his State. “After a slightly cooler start to spring, things now look pretty normal for this time of year,” said Mel Bell, director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) fisheries management office. . “We have seen sufficient evidence of coast-wide ripening and spawning of the white shrimp. This is the same date that we opened the entire season last year.
The shrimp fishing season in South Carolina typically begins in the spring with the opening of a small subset of waters, called staging areas, which allow shrimpers to take advantage of the harvest offshore while protecting the sea. majority of shrimp that have not yet spawned. The South Carolina Interim Zones opened on April 26 of this year. The remainder of the harvest area, called the general trawl area, is much larger and was fully opened on May 27. the abundance of white shrimp wintering in our estuarine waters should prepare us for good landings this season, ”said Bell. Each year, SCDNR officials set the opening date for the shrimp season based on the conditions of the shrimp themselves.
On board commercial vessels and agencies, biologists frequently sample and study white shrimp in late spring. One of the things they are looking for is proof that a majority of female white shrimp will have laid eggs at least once before the start of the season. Opening the season too early – and allowing trawlers to capture females that haven’t had a chance to spawn – could reduce the size of the fall white shrimp crop, which are the offspring of spring white shrimp. South Carolina’s shrimp trade calendar has historically had three peak periods. In the spring, shrimp boats generally take advantage of the influx of white shrimp, the large, early-season shrimp that generally fetch the highest prices and generate the most value for the fishing effort. The summer months are usually defined by a peak of brown shrimp, which are similar in size and taste to white shrimp. In the fall and winter, the shrimp boats bring back a second harvest of white shrimp; the offspring of the spring shrimp. Because the white shrimp is a short-lived species that is vulnerable to cold water temperatures and unusually wet or dry summers, their numbers can fluctuate dramatically from year to year.
However, they are also prolific breeders, meaning that populations can quickly rebound even after a bad year or season.