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Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl

Current Classification on the 2017 LOF

Category II
Estimated Number of Participants 4,950
Target Species Brown, pink and white shrimp within estuaries, and near coastal and offshore regions. Royal Red shrimp along the deep continental slope
Applicable Take Reduction Plans N/A
Observer Coverage This fishery was observed between 1992 and 2006 under a voluntary program, which became mandatory in 2007. Observer coverage was less than 1% for all observed years.
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured Atlantic spotted dolphin, Gulf of Mexico (GMX) continental and oceanic;
Bottlenose dolphin, Charleston estuarine system;
Bottlenose dolphin, GMX continental shelf;
Bottlenose dolphin, Northern GMX coastal;
Bottlenose dolphin, South Carolina/Georgia (SC/GA) coastal1;
Bottlenose dolphin, Southern migratory coastal;
Bottlenose dolphin, Eastern GMX coastal1;
Bottlenose dolphin, Western GMX coastal1;
Bottlenose dolphin, GMX bay, sound, estuarine1;
West Indian manatee, Florida
 

^ Number of participants estimates are based on state and federal fisheries permit data.  The estimated number of participants is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible.  If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided.  If no recent information is available on the number of participants, then the number from the most recent LOF is used.  NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimations may be inflating actual effort.  

*Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR)

1Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification

Based on interactions reported through observer reports, stranding data, and fisheries research data, with multiple strategic and non-strategic marine mammal stocks. Due to the lack of PBR data for most of the stocks and the low observer coverage in this fishery, NMFS conducted a qualitative analysis to determine the appropriate classification for this fishery. Even with low coverage, NMFS observed 12 dolphin takes (of which 11 were serious injuries or mortalities) since 1993; 11 of which were taken since 2002. Also, the final 2009 SARs note that "occasional interactions with bottlenose dolphins have been observed...and there is infrequent evidence of interactions from stranded animals." Further, Marine Mammal Authorization Program (MMAP) records list 1 dolphin take in shrimp trawl gear in South Carolina in 2002. Lastly, 13 dolphin takes, 10 of which were taken since 2002, have been documented by NMFS in Southeast U.S. research trawl operations, and/or relocation trawls conducted.

Distribution

The pelagic or bottom trawl fishery operating virtually year-round in the Atlantic Ocean from NC through FL, and in the Gulf of Mexico from FL through TX. Effort occurs in estuarine, near shore coastal waters, and along the continental slope of the Atlantic and estuarine, near shore coastal, and offshore continental shelf and slope waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishery typically operates from sunset to sunrise when shrimp are most likely to swim higher in the water column.

Gear Description

The most commonly employed gear in this fishery is a double-rig otter trawl, which normally includes a lazy line attached to each bag's codend. The lazy line floats free during active trawling, and as the net is hauled back, it is retrieved with a boat- or grappling-hook to assist in guiding and emptying the trawl nets. Shrimp trawl soak time is about three hours.

Management

Although shrimp trawlers are required under Endangered Species Act regulations to use turtle excluder devices to reduce sea turtle bycatch (50 CFR 223.206), the fishery currently does not use any method or gear modification to deter, or reduce bycatch of, marine mammals.

 

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (1996)
Original Number of Participants >18,000
Basis for Original Classification This fishery was categorized as a Category III based on over 10,000 observer hours in the Atlantic and over 17,000 observer hours in the Gulf of Mexico. No injuries or mortalities of any marine mammal species were observed. However, a shrimp trawl fisherman reported one dolphin mortality offshore due to entanglement with the lazy line. This animal was most likely a coastal GMX bottlenose dolphin.
Past Names Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl (until 2001)
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A

 

Timeline of Changes

2015
  • Added bottlenose dolphin (Charleson estuarine system) and bottlenose dolphin (Southern migratory coastal) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery.  The Charleston estuarine system stock was added based on a take reported in a 2013 MMPA mortality/injury report. The Southern migratory coastal stock was added based on a dolphin mortality in 2006 in a fisheries research shrimp trawl.
2012
  • Added bottlenose dolphin (Northern GMX coastal stock) and bottlenose dolphin (GMX continental shelf stock) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery. A bottlenose dolphin was killed in this fishery in 2003 and could have belonged to the Northern GMX coastal stock or a GMX bay, sound and estuarine stock (which is already included on the list of species or stocks killed or injured in this fishery). Additionally, 1 or more of 6 unidentified dolphins taken in this fishery from 1992-2008 could be from this stock (2010 SAR). A bottlenose dolphin (GMX continental shelf stock) was killed in this fishery in 2008. However, the PBR for this stock is undetermined, so NMFS cannot determine the exact percentage of PBR this take would represent. Additionally, 3 or 4 unidentified dolphins injured or killed in this fishery from 1992-2008 could be from this stock (2010 SAR). 
  • Updated the name of the Atlantic spotted dolphin stock from “Northern GMX” to “GMX continental and oceanic to reflect the stock names in the 2010 SAR. 
  • Combined the bottlenose dolphin (GA coastal stock) and bottlenose dolphin (SC coastal stock) and rename the stock as “bottlenose dolphin (SC/GA coastal stock),” to reflect the stock names in the 2010 SAR.
2011
  • Elevated to Category II based on interactions reported through observer reports, stranding data, and fisheries research data, with multiple strategic marine mammal stocks (bottlenose dolphin, SC coastal; bottlenose dolphin, GA coastal; bottlenose dolphin, Northern Gulf of Mexico coastal [Eastern, Northern, and Western]; and bottlenose dolphin, Gulf of Mexico bay, sound and estuarine) and non-strategic marine mammal stocks (bottlenose dolphin, Northern Gulf of Mexico continental shelf; and spotted dolphin, Northern Gulf of Mexico). Due to the lack of PBR data and low observer coverage (<1% from 1992- 2006), NMFS conducted a qualitative analysis to determine the appropriate classification for this fishery. Even with low coverage, NMFS observed 12 dolphin takes (of which 11 were serious injuries or mortalities) since 1993; 11 of which were taken since 2002. Four of the takes were confirmed as bottlenose dolphins; the remaining 8 may be either bottlenose or Atlantic spotted dolphins. In addition, the final 2009 SARs note that "occasional interactions with bottlenose dolphins have been observed...and there is infrequent evidence of interactions from stranded animals." Further, Marine Mammal Authorization Program (MMAP) records list 1 dolphin take in shrimp trawl gear in South Carolina in 2002. Additionally, 13 (of which 12 were serious injuries or mortalities; 1 Atlantic spotted 12 bottlenose) dolphin takes, 10 since 2002, have been documented by NMFS in Southeast U.S. research trawl operations, and/or relocation trawls conducted. 
  • Updated the stock name for bottlenose dolphins killed/injured in this fishery, based on the revised stock structure presented in the final 2008 and 2009 SARs. Replaced bottlenose dolphin (WNA coastal) with the following stocks: bottlenose dolphin (GA coastal) and bottlenose dolphin (SC coastal). Retained a superscript “1” after these stocks because the 2010 LOF includes a superscript “1” following bottlenose dolphin (WNA coastal).
  • Added Atlantic spotted dolphin (Northern GMX stock) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured. An Atlantic spotted dolphin (Northern GMX stock) was killed in 2006 in Southeast U.S. research trawl operations and/or relocation trawls conducted in conjunction with dredging and other marine construction activities. Also, most of the observer reports from this fishery list only "dolphin" as the marine mammal killed/injured, and NMFS was able to conclusively identify only four of the twelve takes in this fishery since 2002 as bottlenose dolphins. Based on the location of the observed takes for the 8 unidentified dolphins, the remainder of the observed takes can either be bottlenose dolphin or Atlantic spotted dolphin. Therefore, given the low observer coverage in this fishery, the location of the observed takes for the unidentified dolphin species in this fishery, and the observed mortality of an Atlantic spotted dolphin in research trawl operations that operate in a similar area and manner to commercial shrimp trawl operations, it is reasonable that takes of Atlantic spotted dolphins are also occurring in the commercial fishery. 
  • Estimated number of participants was updated from >18,000 to 4,950.
2005
  • Added the following stocks to the list of species/stocks killed/injured because interactions have been documented in recent SARs: bottlenose dolphin (Western GMX coastal), bottlenose dolphin (Eastern GMX coastal), bottlenose dolphin (GMX Bay, Sound, and Estuarine), and West Indian manatee (FL).
2001
  • Renamed from the “Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl” fishery to the "Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl" fishery to reflect that the fishery operates from North Carolina into the Gulf of Mexico.


 

Updated December 14, 2016