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Shrinking Gulf Shrimp Harvest Linked to Lingering Red Tide

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Photo: NOAA
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida's winter shrimp harvest in the Gulf of Mexico saw "a couple of bad months," fishermen say, on top of reports of low numbers for the iconic stone crab as well. That's all while a troublesome red tide has persisted since late last year

Harvests for some shrimp species in the Gulf have dropped by millions of pounds. Pink shrimp in the Gulf crashed from more than 50 million pounds harvested in 1998 to fewer than 10 million pounds caught in 2007. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, expects harvest of brown shrimp in the Gulf through July of this year to be 39.2 million pounds, well below the average of more than 56 million pounds. The number of permits fished in the Gulf also continues to decline.

Monday at 1 p.m. on Gulf Coast Live, Dennis Henderson of Trico Shrimp Company in Fort Myers Beach joins the show to discuss the poor harvest this winter, how recent months have seen an uptick in both shrimp and stone crab harvests, and to describe the state of the Southwest Florida shrimping industry.

Also joining the program is Dr. Richard P. Stumpf, and oceanographer NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, to explain the impact of the long-lingering red tide on Gulf Coast harvests.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
Julie Glenn is the host of Gulf Coast Live. She has been working in southwest Florida as a freelance writer since 2007, most recently as a regular columnist for the Naples Daily News. She began her broadcasting career in 1993 as a reporter/anchor/producer for a local CBS affiliate in Quincy, Illinois. After also working for the NBC affiliate, she decided to move to Parma, Italy where she earned her Master’s degree in communication from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication is from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.