An application of the virtual population technique to penaeid shrimp.
Commericial catch statistics for brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus Ives) from a restricted area along the Texas coast were examined by using the virtual population technique. The sum of all catches from a single year class was used as a minimum estimate of population size at the time of recruitment. The conversion of catches from pounds to numbers also made possible maximum estimates of the exploitation rate for all periods after recruitment. Monthly catches of shrimp of each size group were compared for the years 1961-66, and weights were converted to value by using the mean price per pound for each size group for the period. Comparisons of the percentage of a year class harvested at each size with the percentage of the gross value contributed by each size group may aid in making decision concerning the management of shrimp stock.