Shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico fill a mesh sack.

The Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimp season for state and federal waters reopened 30 minutes after sunset Thursday.

Biologists consider the biological, social and economic impacts in determining the opening date to maximize the benefits to the industry and the public, according to a news release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“The annual mid-May closure protects brown shrimp until they can reach larger, more valuable sizes during their major period of emigration from the bays to the Gulf of Mexico,” said Coastal Fisheries Division Director Robin Riechers. “The closure also helped to prevent the waste caused by the discarding of smaller individual shrimp.”

Federal waters, from 9 to 200 nautical miles offshore, opened at the same time that state waters opened. The National Marine Fisheries Service chose to adopt rules compatible with those adopted by Texas.

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