Length - Maximum of approx. 7 – 8 inches
Weight - Maximum of approx. 1 – 2 oz.
The white shrimp is found in along the Atlantic Coast from New York to Florida, and throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
These shrimp tend to live in shallower water ranging from 20 to 100 feet. When the shrimp are younger they will inhabit near shore waters with loose bottom sediment and lower salinities associated with freshwater inputs from rivers and streams.
While shrimp larvae feed on plankton, juveniles and adult shrimp prey opportunistically upon macroinvertebrates and small fish, while supplementing their diet with detritus and plants. Additionally cannibalism occurs commonly amongst adult white shrimp.
White shrimp grow quickly and only live for about one year. White shrimp mature at a size of 5 inches, and spawn beginning in late spring throughout the summer months. During this time mature females can release one million eggs. The male shrimp attach their sperm to the female prior to ovulation to ensure that all of those eggs are fertilized as they are released. Once hatched, the juvenile shrimp utilize the productive waters of estuaries and bays.
Importance to Fisheries and Aquaculture:
Shrimp caught in the wild and produced under aquaculture account for the largest proportion of seafood production worldwide. Over 90% of white shrimp harvested in the United States comes from the Gulf of Mexico.
While current white shrimp populations levels are primarily based upon statistical models and historical harvests this species has not been identified as overfished in over 40 years.