Cold waters deplete local shrimp population, delay season (update: season opens today)

Image by Flickr user Doug DuCap Food and Travel Nets will stay empty of tasty shrimp until late June

Update June 22: South Carolina's shrimping season officially opened this morning and the first nets full of the little critters will be hitting docks later today.

According to a run made last week by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, this year's crop is expected to be fair or slightly below normal. However, they were surprised to see a good amount summer brown shrimp during the run and are predicting a "decent" amount of late summer white shrimp.

The Post and Courier has additional information on the opening of the season, some shrimp statistics, estimated shrimp prices and more.

First reporting: Unusually cold waters have taken a huge toll on the local shrimp population as well as local shrimpers.

Most years, Memorial Day weekend marks the time when commercial shrimping boats head out to pull in their bounty, but not this year. Waters have been too cold for white shrimp to spawn normally, so the S.C. Department of Natural Resources has delayed the opening of shrimping season until late June.

When browsing through a grocery or seafood market, you'll also notice that domestic and imported shrimp prices have increased. High fuel prices, the Japanese tsunami, and flooding in southern Thailand have all played major factors in making little shrimps a very hot commodity.

The Post and Courier has an article on the Lowcountry shrimping shortage; read it here.

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