Shrimp

Program Manager : Elizabeth Scott-Denton

Bycatch Observer
4700 Avenue U
Galveston, Texas 77551

(409) 766-3571 [v]
(409) 766-3508 [f]

Southeastern Shrimp Otter Trawl Fishery

Observer Program Mandate and Authority

Mission of the program
To characterize shrimp trawl bycatch and evaluate various gear types for the reduction of bycatch
 

 
Fishery management
Federal
 

 
Authority to place observers
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Endangered Species Act.
 

 
Voluntary or mandatory
Voluntary
 

 
Funding source
Government
 

 
Annual program costs
 

 
Program duration
1991-present
 

Fishery Description

Target species
Penaeid shrimp (brown, white and pink).
 

 
Other commercially landed species
None
 

 
Bycatch
Finfish bycatch includes red snapper, groundfish, with Atlantic croaker and longspine porgy being the dominant species both in number and by weight for the Gulf of Mexico.
 

 
Incidental takes
One Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, one manatee, and 411 sea turtles since 1992.
 

 
Gear type
Shrimp Trawl
 

 
Area of operation
Gulf of Mexico - Texas to North Carolina
 

 
Fleet size
Approximately 6,000 USCG documented vessels and an unknown number of state registered boats.
 

 
Size range of vessels
 

 
Annual catch of target species
 

 
Number of fishing days per year
250,000 (24-hour days fished).
 

 
Season of operation
Year around; highest effort from May through December.
 

Observer Program Management

Brief overview of program structure

Individuals contracted and supervised by either NOAA Fisheries or the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation. Vessels are located through Sea Grant agents, NOAA Fisheries port agents, Foundation contacts and fishery associations. Each observer group (i.e., NOAA Fisheries or Foundation) is responsible to get observer to port of departure.

 

 
Other participating agencies
Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation
 

 
Number of observers
 

 
Observers employed by
Johnson Controls, Inc.
 

 
Average deployment length
 

 
Average observer retention rate
 

 
Observers unionized
No
 

Observer Coverage

Average number of fishing days
1000
 

 
Unit and definition of fishing effort for purpose of estimating coverage
A fishing day is the unit of effort.
 

 
Percent observer coverage
<<1%