Gulf shrimp season set to open next week

The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for both state and federal waters will open 30 minutes after sunset July 15. The opening date is based on an evaluation of the biological, social and economic information to maximize the benefits to the industry and the public, according to a news release issued by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

In making its determination, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division used the best available scientific information including samples collected by using trawls and bag seines in TPWD routine data collection, the release stated.

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 individuals.

Federal waters 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.