A tale of two US coasts — and a gulf between them
By Joanne Friedrick, SeaFood Business contributing editor
Published on 11 December, 2013
As different as the lifestyles may be on the U.S. West and East Coasts, so too are the wild shrimp seasons — at least for the past couple of years. While harvests for pink salad shrimp are increasing in Oregon, Maine shrimpers may not even have a harvest this year.
Coldwater shrimp (Pandalus jordani) harvested off the Oregon Coast are having a great year, says Brad Pettinger, director of the Oregon Trawl Commission in Brookings, Ore. The 46 million pounds of shrimp landed this year was down slightly from the previous year by about 2 to 3 million pounds, he said.
Oregon shrimp are on a three-year cycle, said Pettinger, with this past season being the third of three good years that netted a total of 140 million pounds.
“Ocean conditions have continued to be good,” he explained, resulting in a scenario that Pettinger characterizes as “just like the good old days.”
Prices have also been holding steady, he said, coming in at about USD 0.51 (EUR 0.37) per pound, which is consistent with the previous year. A few years previous, prices were in the low- to mid-30 cent range.
Oregon pink shrimp have been Marine Stewardship Council certified since 2007, which Pettinger says has led to an increase in exports. “We have a good mix of domestic and export sales,” he said, with about 40 to 50 percent being sent overseas.