| May 9, 2008
DMF wants to know about catches of Asian black tiger shrimp
By SUSAN WEST
North Carolina shrimpers have pulled in an unusual type of shrimp in
addition to the common white, pink, or brown species in their trawl
In 2006 and 2007, fishermen reported catching a few Asian black tiger
shrimp (Penaeus monodon), a species not native to South Atlantic
“We don’t think the black tiger shrimp is established here,
but we really don’t have much information. That’s why
we’re asking fishermen to call us if they catch any of these
shrimp,” said Trish Murphey at the North Carolina Division of
Black tiger shrimp, one of the world’s largest shrimp species,
can grow to more than one foot in length, although the ones captured in
North Carolina have been around 9 inches long.
Native to the West Pacific, the black tiger is also widely farmed, particularly in Southeast Asia.
The species is named for the distinct dark stripes that encircle its shell.
The first reported sighting of black tiger shrimp in the state was in
October, 2006, in Pamlico Sound, near Gull Rock in Hyde County.
In 2007, fishermen reported catching tiger shrimp in the same vicinity,
as well as offshore of Bogue Banks in Carteret County.
Murphey said the most likely explanation is that the non-native shrimp
escaped from aquaculture facilities into the coastal waters of the
South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.
The species is not grown on shrimp farms in North Carolina, but is
grown on farms in South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, and Texas.
In 1988, tiger shrimp escaped from an aquaculture facility farm in
Bluffton, S.C., and nearly 1,000 were later recaptured as far south as
Cape Canaveral, Fla., according to information from the Nonindigenous
Aquatic Species Division of the United States Geological Survey.
Tiger shrimp also have been reported in the coastal waters of Alabama and Louisiana.
Scientists said the impact of tiger shrimp on native shrimp species is
unknown, but that the transfer of disease is always a concern when
exotic species move outside of their natural habitats. Disease in
wild shrimp can be difficult to detect because fish or crabs almost
immediately eat weakened or dead shrimp.
Trish Murphey asked fishermen who capture black tiger shrimp to freeze
the shrimp, record the date and location of capture, and contact her at
800-682-2632 or [email protected].