Invasive Shrimp Grows to More Than a Pound in TX Waters

plugs and crankbaits
Topwater Plug Versus Sub-Surface Crankbait-In Saltwater
January 16, 2018
night fishing for shark
Shark Fishing at Night
January 18, 2018

Photo by Pawar Poojah

Did you know there are shrimp in Texas that can grow to weigh more than a pound?

The black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) or tiger shrimp is an aggressive crustacean that can grow to a foot in length and weigh a pound according to Texas Invasive Species Institute.

“In addition to it’s unusually large size, it can be identified by black stripes across the dorsal side of the tail. It can also be black in body color with orange stripes on it’s back, resembling a tiger.”

They are present in the Gulf of Mexico and have been verified in Aransas Bay and Sabine Lake.

“The tiger prawn was accidentally released from a research facility near South Carolina in 1988, allowing the shrimp to spread as far south as Florida by 1990. As a popular shrimp raised in farms in the Caribbean, authorities were surprised when captures ceased following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. However, tiger prawns were captured again in 2006 and have been consistently captured to the present,” according to Texas Invasive Species Institute officials.

They said introduction of the aggressive tiger prawn endangers native shrimp that are preyed upon by this invasive shrimp due to the size difference. Native shrimp species are also at risk of contracting diseases that the tiger prawn carries, resulting in further mortality of native populations. The tiger shrimp is known to be susceptible to 16 diseases and is capable of transferring them to other shrimp species (Humans are not at risk). Disease and predation from the invasive tiger prawn can have a devastating effect on harvesting native shrimp species resulting in an economic loss for shrimp fishermen.

“Local Gulf Coast authorities are urging fishermen to report any unusual shrimp catches and not to throw back any tiger prawns that are caught and identified. In order to prevent establishment of the tiger shrimp, it is highly encouraged to catch, sell, or eat the invasive tiger prawn. The tiger shrimp yields a high economic value with a large size and sweet taste qualifying it to be farmed by many shrimp farmers in the Caribbean. However, the farming of the invasive tiger prawn is prohibited in the state of Texas.”

TF&G Staff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Need to Subscribe?