Friday, June 22, 2012
150px_shrimp_catcj

Mississippi: Gulf Shrimp Catches Good, but Prices Down

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


The bulk of the 1.137 million pounds of shrimp landed in Biloxi during the first two weeks of the season have been medium, 36- to 40-count shrimp. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)

The shrimp are slightly bigger, but prices are down, making this year’s season-opening in Biloxi comparable to last year’s start. 
click to enlarge

The bulk of the 1.137 million pounds of shrimp landed in Biloxi during the first two weeks of the season have been medium, 36- to 40-count shrimp. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)

click to enlarge
High winds prompted small craft advisories that kept some shrimp boats at the dock during the first few weeks of the 2012 shrimp season. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)

During the first two weeks of the 2012 season, 1.137 million pounds of shrimp were landed in Biloxi. In the same time in 2011, 1.124 million pounds were landed at the same port.



Shrimp season began May 30, and 210 boats went out for the opening day. To date, the bulk of the production has been medium, 36- to 40-count shrimp, a reference to the number of shrimp needed to make a pound.

Dave Burrage, commercial and recreational fisheries specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said a majority of the early crop harvested last year was the smaller, 50- to 60-count size.

“We are getting good-sized shrimp, but not a good price for the fishermen,” Burrage said.

Medium shrimp are bringing about $1.50 a pound, and small shrimp are getting $1 to $1.10 a pound. The large, under 15-count shrimp are selling off the boat for $2.85 a pound with heads on and $4.35 a pound for tails.”

Burrage, who works at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi, said mild weather over the last several months helped production and size in this year’s shrimp crop.

“We didn’t have any winter to speak of, and the shrimp grew fast,” Burrage said. “The oil spill of 2010 is behind us, as are the closings that happened last year when the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway was opened to handle flooding in other areas.”

High winds have prompted small craft advisories, so smaller shrimp boats are either staying docked or working in less productive locations where the weather is better.

Percy Bradley of Long Beach is owner and captain of the Kar-Lyn Dawn, a shrimp boat that works out of the Pass Christian harbor. He has been in the shrimp business since 1973.

“We had a good opening for the first couple of days, then we hit a dead zone, and then it got better after the wind,” Bradley said. “The shrimp come through in schools. They don’t stop anymore; they just pass through.”

With low prices, shrimpers are squeezed to make a profit.

“Diesel is killing us,” Bradley said. “You used to be able to work for two to three 100-pound boxes of shrimp a night. Now it takes 200 pounds of shrimp just to pay for diesel and another 100 pounds to pay for crew.”

With today’s high production costs and low prices, Bradley said a shrimper needs to catch about 500 pounds of shrimp to have a decent night’s work.

Burrage said the three major challenges facing shrimpers recur every year.

“Cheaper, imported product is putting the pressure on the price of domestic product; operating costs, primarily diesel fuel, are high; and increased regulation,” Burrage said.

The average consumer buys shrimp based on price, not quality, and the Mississippi wild-caught shrimp industry has to do a better job marketing their superior product, he said.

“There is no comparison between the quality of wild-caught Gulf shrimp and the pond-raised, imported product they compete with in the grocery store,” Burrage said. “We think our Gulf shrimp are better and more flavorful than any others that are available.”

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill decimated the industry in 2010, but Burrage said it appears this disaster is no longer impacting the shrimp.

Traci Floyd, shrimp and crab bureau director with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources in Biloxi, said there is plenty of evidence the shrimp are safe to eat.

“Our Gulf of Mexico shrimp are some of the most-tested shrimp in the world,” Floyd said. “Although it’s too early to tell how the whole season will be, we’re pleased with the amount of shrimp being harvested. It looks like we’ll have an average year, and average is good sometimes.”

The number of boats out on opening day increased from last year, when many shrimpers were still feeling the hardship of the oil spill.

“Even though we had 48 more boats out than last year, that’s only a quarter of what we had 10 years ago,” Floyd said. “The number is down from the loss of infrastructure caused by Hurricane Katrina, fuel costs hit hard and we have competition from foreign imports.”

Shrimp season closes Dec. 31 north of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, where the smaller shrimpers fish, and it closes April 30, 2013 south of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Tags: ,


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    Rice Crop: Harvest Begins Slowly in Louisiana and Texas7-25

    Rice Commentary – Rice Farmers Need to Consider a New Business Plan7-25

    Leave Your Guns at the House, Boys.7-25

    Grain TV: Markets Quiet After Busy Week7-25

    DTN Livestock Close: Cattle Futures Explode to New Highs7-25

    Doane Cotton Close: Futures Continue Lower After Midweek Rally7-25

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: Soybeans Mixed, Wheat, Corn Gain Slightly7-25

    AFB Cotton Close: Sell-Off Continues7-25

    AFB Rice Close: Futures Continue Lower7-25

    DTN Cotton Close: Settles on New Contract Lows7-25

    Peanuts: 15% Of Crop Ungathered In Key Argentine Production Area7-25

    Rail Car Delays Causing Dread Among Elevator Operators – DTN7-25

    DTN Grain Close: Wheat Prices Rally Off Lows7-25

    Catfish Production: Water Surface Acres at 63,700 Acres7-25

    USDA: Peanut Price Highlights7-25

    Arkansas: New iPhone App Simplifies Farmers’ Finances7-25

    DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Futures Continue Higher7-25

    DTN Grain Midday: Wheat 3 to 6 Cents Up in Front Months7-25

    Taking the Risk Out of Buying Used Equipment — DTN7-25

    North Carolina: Rediscovering Grain Sorghum — DTN7-25

    Peanuts: Worms Still Building In SE; Rains Boost West’s Crop – AgFax7-25

    Shurley on Cotton: Prices Try to Stabilize, Still Show Weakness7-25

    Southern Soybean Insect Situation Gets Complicated – AgFax7-25

    DTN Cotton Open: Extends Losses in Early Going7-25

    AgFax Wildlife Review: Wild Hogs Damaging Levees in Louisiana7-25

    DTN Livestock Open: Cattle Futures Likely to Begin Mixed7-25

    DTN Grain Open: Soybeans, Corn Starting Out Lower7-25

    Keith Good: Declining Commodity Prices Foreshadow Ag Slump? Maybe.7-25

    Ethanol: Final 2014 RFS Release ‘Imminent’ – DTN7-24

    Doane Cotton Close: Prices Break Out of Range Lower7-24

    Rice – Arkansas, Mississippi – Blast Becomes Major Concern – AgFax7-24

    New Rural Infrastructure Fund Established — DTN7-24

    U.S. Grain Transportation: Wheat Demand Increases, Inspections Rise7-24

    2014 Farm Bill Decisions: Base Acre Reallocation Option7-24

    Midwest Grain: Pull the Fungicide Trigger Now? It Depends. – AgFax7-24

    Louisiana: Sodium Nitrite Explored for Wild Hog Control7-24

    U.S. Energy: Refineries Running at Record Levels7-24

    Gasoline Prices: Show 4-Cent Decrease7-24

    Propane Stocks: Continue to Rise7-24

    Diesel Prices: Average Declines by 3 Cents7-24

    Corn: Pollination is One of Nature’s Miracle – DTN7-23

    Wheat Tour Sees One of the Best Crops in Years – DTN7-23

    10 Arkansas and 2 Tennessee Counties Designated Natural Disaster Areas7-23

    AgFax Grain Review: Chinese Soy Imports to Climb; Best Crop Conditions in Decades7-23

    Soybeans: Is the 2014 Average Yield Headed for a New Record?7-23

    Drones Monitoring the Garden or Your Crop? One Is Legal, One Is Not.7-23

    Cotton In The Midsouth – Plant Bugs Persist As Bollworms Arrive – AgFax7-23

    Cotton – Plant Bugs, Stink Bugs Overlapping In Parts Of Southeast – AgFax7-23

    Cotton in Southwest: Blooms Spreading; Fleahopper, White Fly on the Move7-22

    USDA: Don’t Forget Farm Bill Conservation Compliance Changes7-22

    USDA: Weekly National Peanut Prices7-22

    AgFax Cotton Review: Worst Price Slump in 55 Years; Weather Delays Development7-22

    Good Reports on Corn; Wet Weather Stressing Beans — DTN7-22

    Cattle: Nebraska Study Finds No Ill Effects from Zilmax — DTN7-22

    South Korea Importers Returning to U.S. Corn, DDGS — DTN7-22

    Oklahoma Farmer Modifies Business Choices Due to Wet Spring – DTN7-21

    Cover Crops a Good Replacement in Weather Damaged Fields – DTN7-21

    Sunbelt Ag Events

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office 601-992-3503 Fax

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney