GA: DNR To Close Food Shrimp Season

Brunswick, Ga. Commissioner Mark Williams has
announced that Georgia’s food shrimp harvest season will close 6:30
p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. This closure includes 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.

The 2011-12 shrimp season was extended through January 25, 2012
based on a recommendation from the Coastal Resources Division. This
recommendation was based on the result of December shrimp
population surveys and input from the Shrimp Advisory Panel, which
consists of recreational and commercial shrimp fishers.

Although January water temperatures have been above normal,
Department surveys indicate shrimp abundance is below long-term
levels. “Results of the December survey indicated a sufficient
abundance of marketable shrimp still remained in coastal waters,
and thus the season was extended into January. Results of the
January 2012 survey indicated that shrimp abundance had declined
below long-term averages. Therefore, in an effort to protect the
remaining shrimp within our estuaries, we have decided to close
state waters at this time to the harvest of food shrimp,” said Jim
Page, marine biologist with the Coastal Resources Division.

“Ultimately, we have to balance the protection of over-wintering
shrimp with the desires of fishers to have additional time added to
the season. It is our belief that the extended season provided
fishers additional opportunities to continue harvesting food shrimp
without negatively impacting the over-wintering shrimp population.
However, recent declines in abundance as observed in January’s
surveys suggest the time has come to close state waters to the
harvest of food shrimp and protect the remaining shrimp within our
estuaries,” Page said.

For more information on the closing of the food shrimp season,
please contact the Coastal Resources Division office at (912)
264-7218

 

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