Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Giant Shrimp Invading Gulf Of Mexico - 27th Dec 2011

This black tiger shrimp was caught in 210 feet of water off the coast of Louisiana on a shrimp boat under the direction of Captain Tony Pena of Brownsville.

US - An exotic, large species of shrimp is being found once again in the Gulf of Mexico and posing a potential threat to the $700 million Gulf shrimping industry, according to Tony Reisinger, a Texas AgriLife Extension Service agent for coastal and marine resources in South Texas.
“They’re known as black tiger shrimp because of their bright yellow stripes,” Mr Reisinger said. “They are the biggest saltwater shrimp in the world. They are predatory, aggressive and could carry diseases that can harm native species of shrimp.”

Female shrimp are slightly larger than males and can grow to an average of about a foot in length and can weigh almost one pound, he said. They are native to the Indo-Pacific region of the world.

“Black tiger shrimp eat the same type of food as our three, much smaller native species, but as they grow they can also eat the native species, which are the brown, white and pink shrimp. And they prey on small oysters, threatening that industry as well,” Mr Reisinger said.

The fear is that black tiger shrimp will out-compete and possibly displace native species, Reisinger said. So far, there have been 200 official reports of black tiger shrimp in the Gulf. The southernmost find was at Aransas Bay in the Corpus Christi area, some 115 miles north of the jetties at South Padre Island.

“There are lots of unanswered questions about black tiger shrimp,” he said. “We know there was an accidental release of black tigers from a research facility in South Carolina in 1988. Some were caught as far away as St. Augustine, Florida. But most were thought to have been caught by local fishermen, because in 1991 they suddenly disappeared. Then in 2006 they started showing up again. Read More