BRUNSWICK — Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams announced that Georgia waters will open for commercial and recreational harvest of food shrimp at 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Effective that date, commercial food-shrimp trawlers can operate in Georgia’s territorial waters open to power-drawn trawls. Commercial and recreational cast netters, as well as persons using a beach seine, can harvest food shrimp from waters open to the use of these gears.
“The abundance of white shrimp in our most recent coast-wide trawl survey is comparable to historic averages for the month of May,” said Jim Page, the Coastal Resources Division biologist supervising monthly shrimp sampling. “The majority
of the shrimp are large enough to be desirable to recreational harvesters and
valuable to commercial fishermen. Survey results
also show that many white shrimp have already spawned. After considering this information and input from our Shrimp Advisory Panel, we believe opening on May 30 is the best decision.”
Commercial harvest of food shrimp with power-drawn trawls is restricted to 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Federal waters (beyond three miles offshore) are open for food shrimp harvest 24 hours a day. Trawler operators are reminded that they must have certified bycatch reduction devices and turtle excluder devices in their trawls while operating in both state and federal waters. Trawl fishermen should watch for further advisories on BRD and TED requirements issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Georgia DNR conservation rangers, the U.S. Coast Guard and NMFS agents will enforce BRD and TED requirements.
Trawler operators are
also reminded of the 1,000-foot boating-safety zone along the beaches of Tybee Island, Sea Island, St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. This boating safety zone is in effect from May 1 through Sept. 30. Motorized craft, both recreational and commercial and including personal watercraft, are prohibited in these zones during this period.
Call 264-7218 for information on the shrimp season.
Call 727-824-5312 for information on federal requirements for BRDs and TEDs in shrimp trawls.