Present and Future Management of the Shrimp Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico
Brown and white shrimp yeild have increased as have fishing effort over the last three decades. Pink shrimp landings have been remarkably stable throughout this time except the drastic drop since 1986 to unprecedented low levels. The causative factors for the decline in the pink shrimp fishery are unknown but are presumed to be environmental. The increase in yield forthe other two major shrimp species appears to be a result of an increase in nursery habitat. However, it is theorized that the nursery habitat will decrease some time in the future, resulting in a decrease in recruits and ultimately a decrease in fishery yield. There are possible management scenarios which could increase yield and value to the fishery by managing for growth overfishing. However, implementation of such strategies will only lead to greater overcapitalization and dissipation of economic rent.