BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Georgia waters are closing to shrimp fishing Jan. 15, but whelk season opens the next day.
The annual shrimp fishery closure is to allow shrimp to reproduce in large enough amounts and grow to large enough size to hopefully provide for a good shrimp harvest in the coming year. The News reported. The shrimp fishery tends to reopen in late May or early June, depending on conditions at the time.
“One of the important indicators to biologists is the number of individual shrimp it takes to make a pound, referred to as ‘count size.’ When shrimp are larger, it takes fewer individuals to make a full pound. One of the benchmarks biologists use when considering closing Georgia’s waters is 50 shrimp or more making a pound. Data collected in December found it took about 38.4 shrimp to make one pound, roughly 2 percent higher than the long-term average since 1976,” the Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division said.
Meanwhile, the state's whelk season is to open at 7 a.m. on Jan. 16 and run through 8:15 p.m. on March 31.
Regulatory requirements for whelk trawls include the use of minimum 4-inch stretch mesh trawl gear and a certified turtle excluder device. Fishermen also need a state commercial fishing license with a whelk endorsement.