January 25, 2017
Some 5.8 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf of Mexico in December, roughly 34% below the prior 16-year historical average for the month (8.9 million pounds), the Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA) reported on Monday, Dec. 23.
"This was the lowest total of shrimp landed in the Gulf in the month of December in the years for which the Southern Shrimp Alliance has catalogued NOAA (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) data going back to 2000", it said.
For the whole year of 2016, 93.8 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf, 27.6% below the average landings for the prior 16 years (129.7 million pounds).
SSA noted some discrepancies in the volume of shrimp landed in the Gulf of Mexico, however.
For instance, the "shrimp statistics" reported by NOAA indicate that 2016 was the fourth straight year of declines in the volume of shrimp landed in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the volume reported of shrimp landed in the Gulf of Mexico in NOAA's annual publication "Fisheries of the United States" differs from the amounts reported in the "shrimp statistics."
NOAA's "shrimp statistics" report that 106.9 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf in 2015, down from 114.5 million pounds in 2014. However, the 2015 Fisheries of the United States reported that 123.9 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf in 2015 (HLSO-equivalent weight), up from 116.6 million pounds in 2014.
"It is likely that the '2016 Fisheries of the United States,' when published by NOAA, will report a higher volume of shrimp landed in the Gulf of Mexico than that reported by the 'shrimp statistics'", SSA said.
While volumes have remained significantly lower than historical averages, ex-vessel prices reported by NOAA strengthened. Western and Northern Gulf ex-vessel prices for U15 count shrimp were the highest ever reported for a December ($9.92/lb. and $9.50/lb., respectively).
The most significant price increases were again seen in 41-50 count shrimp, with ex-vessel prices in December reported as being significantly higher than in December 2015 in all regions of the Gulf and prices in the Western Gulf up to $3.15/lb. compared with $1.40/lb. in December 2015.