June 18, 2014 – Officials from the Alabama Marine Resources Division announced last week that the 2014 Gulf shrimp season would officially open at 6:00 a.m. this morning.
The following waters not permanently closed by law or regulation are now open to shrimping:
• All waters in the Mississippi Sound
• All waters in Mobile Bay and Bon Secour Bay south of N30 28.000’ latitude
• All waters east of the charted position of GIWW Marker #103, including all waters of Wolf Bay, Perdido Bay, Arnica Bay, Bay La Launch, and Bayou St. John
• All waters in Little Lagoon
Shrimp are the most abundant type of seafood landed her in Alabama and along the Gulf Coast. In fact, over 25 million pounds of Gulf shrimp are landed in Alabama every year.
“The opening of shrimp season is always a joyous time in Coastal Alabama,” said Chris Blankenship, director of Alabama Marine Resources and program administrator for the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. “The opening of shrimp season is about a week or two later than usual due the cold winter and spring rains. The abundances we saw during our sampling look good, so it should be a nice opening. I am looking forward to getting some fresh shrimp this weekend.”
There are a few different types of shrimp caught here along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Brown shrimp makes up the vast majority of Alabama shrimp available during the late spring and summer months, while white shrimp serves as the more abundant species in late summer and fall. Pink shrimp and royal red shrimp can also be caught in Alabama’s coastal waterways.
The opening of the 2014 shrimp season is in response to routine shrimp sampling that indicated the average size were larger than 68 head-on shrimp per pound within designated waters.
However, fisherman should be aware that state biologists will continue to sample in the open areas. Should sampling indicate a change in the average size of 68 head-on shrimp per pound, additional announcements will be made to complement the original opening.
All commercial fishermen are also reminded to provide boat registration (or documentation papers), boat owner’s driver’s license, and social security number or tax identification number when purchasing a commercial shrimping license.
Alabama’s Gulf shrimp season arrives just in time for summer grilling season. To celebrate the 4th of July, Labor Day, or any weekend in between, find a restaurant or retailer in your neighborhood, then check out our excellent shrimp recipes.