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Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Season Opens July 15
AUSTIN, Texas — The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both state and federal waters will open 30 minutes after sunset on Thursday, July 15, 2004. This opening date is based on an evaluation of the biological, social and economic information to maximize the benefits to the industry and the public.
In making its determination, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division used the best available scientific information, including samples collected by trawls and bag seines, and information gathered from the shrimping industry.
"Brown shrimp stocks have been very widely distributed this year with some areas of high population levels," said Larry McKinney, Ph.D., TPWD coastal fisheries division director. "Shrimp are still moving to the Gulf from the bays, but there should be good catches available by July 15."
The purpose of the closed Gulf season is to protect brown shrimp during their major period of emigration from the bays to the Gulf of Mexico until they reach a larger, more valuable size before harvest and to prevent waste caused by the discarding of smaller shrimp.
Federal waters (from nine-to-200 nautical miles offshore) will open at the same time that state waters will open. The National Marine Fisheries Service chose to adopt rules compatible with those adopted by Texas.
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