National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

Top 5 Mixed Catch Stories

Count Asian tiger prawns as the latest invasive species posing a threat to U.S. commercial species. The non-native shellfish's presence is growing in Louisiana waters.

Asian tiger prawnSo far little is known how tiger prawns — which can get as long as 14 inches and weigh as much as 23 ounces — will affect the native brown, white and pink shrimp species, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says. At present there is no evidence that the tiger prawns feed on the native shrimp, the department says, but it also notes it's unknown whether the tiger prawns would outcompete the native shrimp for food.

Tiger prawns were first noticed in Louisiana waters in August 2007 when a shrimper caught one in Vermilion Bay, the department says. Before the start of the 2011 fall inshore season, tiger prawn catches numbered fewer than 25, with none seen west of Vermilion Bay.

But reports of catches of the invasive species have grown since then, and the department says they've been spotted west of the bay, too. Hence, Louisiana shrimpers are being asked to report catches of tiger prawns to the department. (See contact info below.)

According to the department, it's not known exactly when and how the tiger prawns were introduced into Gulf of Mexico waters. Louisiana is a long way from the Indo-Pacific rim that the tiger prawns call home. They're caught in the wild, and many countries have tiger prawn aquaculture operations. A number of farm-raised tiger prawns escaped from an East Coast operation in 1988. Some 1,000 adult tiger prawns were later recaptured as far south as Cape Canaveral, Fla., the department says.

In September 2006, a shrimper caught a single adult male tiger prawn in Mississippi Sound near Dauphin Island, Ala., the department says. Reports of the shellfish's presence in Alabama and Mississippi waters have been increasing ever since.

Reports can help department biologists monitor tiger prawn distribution and relative abundance, and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.

Shrimpers are asked to contact Robert Bourgeois at rbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-0765 or Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (985) 594-4130 to report the date, location and size of Asian tiger prawns caught. They're encouraged to send photos of the non-native shrimp, too.

Photo: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Tiger prawns have a dark body color and white banding along their heads and between segments of their tails. Yellow or red stripes are seen occasionally, too.

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
Address
Country
U.S. Canada Other

City
State/Province
Postal/ Zip Code
Email