A study of the Galveston Bay bait-shrimp fishery.
Ratios (calculated from both abundance and biomass) of shrimp: finfish and shrimp: invertebrates as well as the species composition of each component were determined from trawl samples taken aboard a commercial bait-shrimp vessel during July 1981 through June 1982. Monthly shrimp: finfish abundance ratios ranged from an average of 6.4:1 in July to 1.5:1 in December with the overall average of 3.2:1. Shrimp: finfish ratios were much higher than those reported for the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery. Shrimp: invertebrate ratios ranged from 7.0:1 in August to 61.5:1 in December, and averaged 12.5:1 during the study. The commercial bait-shrimp catch was dominated by brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus) during May through early August and by white shrimp (Penaeus setiferus) thereafter. Trends in total bait-shrimp catch recorded during this study were similar to those reported for the bait-shrimp fishery throughout Galveston Bay. Catch-per-unit-effort trends during the study differed seasonally and were much reduced in magnitude compared to those recorded for the Galveston Bay System.