On Thursday, the Fishery Monitoring Branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center released preliminary shrimp landings data from the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic for April 2023.
Since July of 2021, NOAA has substantially revised its historical reporting of monthly landings. Because these revisions have continuously reflected significant differences between volumes previously reported and those currently being reported, the Southern Shrimp Alliance is now revising the historical data it maintains and reports to reflect the final, corrected numbers where these amounts have been made available by NOAA. Accordingly, the historical amounts reported as shrimp landed in the Gulf of Mexico during the month of April in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 have been revised in accordance with NOAA’s current reporting, as have the total landings data reported for the first four months of 2023. All of the numbers reported for years before 2019 continue to be those initially reported by NOAA and have not been altered.
The preliminary data released by NOAA indicates that roughly 2.6 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf and South Atlantic in April 2023, down from 3.0 million pounds in April of 2022. However, no landings were reported for the state of Louisiana in April, meaning that the overall data is incomplete and likely significantly understates the total amount of shrimp landed during that month.
Landings were also not reported for Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina for the month of April, but 126 thousand pounds of shrimp were landed in the east coast of Florida that month, down from 186 thousand pounds landed in the South Atlantic in April 2022.
Throughout the Gulf and South Atlantic, 14.1 million pounds of shrimp was reported as landed over the first third of 2023, down from 17.7 million pounds over the same timeframe last year.
Roughly 99 thousand pounds of shrimp was reported as landed in Mississippi in April 2023, the highest volume of shrimp reported as landed in the state in the historical data maintained by the Southern Shrimp Alliance going back to 2002. In addition, 3.4 million pounds of shrimp were landed in Alabama over the first third of this year, the highest total reported for the state in the historical data maintained by the Southern Shrimp Alliance going back to 2001.
Although the total landings of shrimp in the Gulf (12.7 million pounds) were in line with the prior twenty-two-year historical average (12.6 million pounds), prices paid to fishermen for that shrimp continue to be at historic lows.
NOAA has revised its reporting of ex-vessel prices, such that the agency no longer reports ex-vessel prices for three different areas of the Gulf of Mexico (Western, Northern, and Eastern). Instead, NOAA now reports a single ex-vessel price for the entirety of Gulf of Mexico and, separately, a single ex-vessel price for the South Atlantic. As the result of the simplification of NOAA’s reporting, the Southern Shrimp Alliance now tracks and summarizes prices for all count sizes used by the agency (U15, 15/20, 21/25, 26/30, 31/35, 36/40, and 41/50).
NOAA did not report ex-vessel prices for any size shrimp in the South Atlantic for April of 2023. A review of the ex-vessel pricing data from NOAA for the Gulf of Mexico indicates that ex-vessel prices for most count sizes this year continued to be at their lowest levels since at least 2019. For some count sizes, prices were massively below prior years, as prices for 15/20 count size shrimp dropped to just $4.36 per pound in April compared to $8.14 per pound in April 2022. Similarly, prices for 26/30 count size shrimp fell from $5.73 per pound in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2022 to just $3.39 in April 2023.
Please click the following link to view the Southern Shrimp Alliance’s compilation and summary of April 2001-2023 shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico, April 2018-2023 shrimp landings in the South Atlantic, and ex-vessel prices in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic for April 2018-2023: https://shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/April-2023-Landings.pdf