This morning, the Fishery Monitoring Branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center released shrimp landings data from the Gulf of Mexico for February.
Last month, 3.4 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf of Mexico, up from 2.9 million pounds in February of 2020 and 2.1 million pounds in February of 2019. The volume of shrimp landed in the region last month was the highest total reported for a February since 2016 (3.7 million pounds). Overall, the total was 22.8 percent above the prior twenty-year historical average of 2.8 million pounds for the month.
In Texas, landings last month (1.4 million pounds) were slightly below where they were in February 2020 (1.5 million pounds), but were nevertheless still 26.7 percent above the prior twenty-year historical average of 1.1 million pounds. For every other part of the Gulf, landings in February exceeded recent past Februarys. The volume of shrimp landed in Alabama (0.7 million pounds) was the highest for a February since 2018 and 68.2 percent above the prior twenty-year historical average of 0.4 million pounds. On the west coast of Florida, the 0.5 million pounds of shrimp landed last month was the most for a February since 2017 and was roughly on par with the prior twenty-year historical average. In Louisiana, landings of 0.7 million pounds was the highest volume of shrimp reported for a February since 2016.
Historically, the first two months of the year only account for between 4 and 7 percent of the total annual harvest of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico. Nevertheless, these early landings data show significant increases over previous years, with the total volume over the first two months (7.5 million pounds) the highest since 2012.
Ex-vessel prices for shrimp landed in February in the western Gulf for all count sizes were reported by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, while ex-vessel prices were reported by NOAA for just two count sizes (15/20 and 26/30) in the eastern Gulf (Florida west coast) and none were reported for the northern Gulf (Alabama, Louisiana, & Mississippi). For all but one of the prices reported, ex-vessel prices last month were lower than the prices for the same count sizes reported in February of 2020.
As in past months, NOAA’s monthly reporting of shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico continues to include the following disclaimer:
“BE ADVISED THAT THE SUMMARIES IN THIS REPORT ARE COLLECTED OR ESTIMATED BY THE FEDERAL PORT AGENTS AND MAY NOT REFLECT THE LANDINGS FROM THE STATES”
As previously noted, the numbers reported – and the ex-vessel prices that have not been reported – throughout the last couple of years by NOAA appear to indicate that port agents may have been unable to collect information in the same manner as they have done historically.
Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of February 2001-2021 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for February 2001-2021 in the Gulf of Mexico: https://shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/February-2021-Landings.pdf