Closure dates for the 1984 Texas Gulf shrimping season
Bryan, C.E. III
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Brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus) were collected with 18.3-m (60.0 ft) bag seines along shorelines of seven bay systems; with 6.1-m (20.0 ft) trawls in five passes leading from the bays to the Gulf of Mexico and with 12.2-m (40.0 ft) trawls in Gulf waters off the central Texas coast to determine closing and opening dates of the 1984 shrimping season in the Texas Territorial Sea. The purpose of the closed season was to protect small shrimp from fishing pressure until they reached a larger, more valuable size (at least 65 count, heads off) and to minimize waste caused by discarding smaller shrimp during harvest. The closed season was set from 30 minutes after sunset 16 May to 30 minutes after sunset 14 July 1984 based on biological sampling along shorelines in April. Data collected in the bays and Gulf in June indicated that shrimp were larger than average and the 14 July opening date was changed to 6 July. Sampling in passes verified that closure dates and the mean length (90 mm) chosen to predict size at emigration were appropriate to accomplish the purpose of the closure.