Alternate Title

Shrimp Landing Trends as Indicators of Estuarine Habitat Quality


Penaeid shrimp support three major commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. They are an estuarine-dependent species with life cycles that are completed within 1 yr. The stocks are fully exploited. Landings are independent of effort in that increased effort would not increase landings. Landings are therefore a direct measure of stock. Because the penaeids are annual species, landings are also a measure of recruitment. Since recruitment is dependent on habitat quality, landings are a measure of habitat quality and temporal trends in annual landings reveal trends in estuarine habitat quality. The landings trends indicate diminished habitat quality in Florida Bay since the mid-1980s. Landings for Louisiana and Texas reveal either increasing habitat quality or no change over the past 44 years.