Penaeid Shrimp Regulations

Penaeid Shrimp

Penaeid Shrimp

White Shrimp - Litopenaeus setiferus
Pink Shrimp - Farfantepenaeus duorarum
Brown Shrimp - Farfantepenaeus aztecus

Managed by:


The three species of penaeid shrimp under Council management are white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus), pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum) and brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus).

Physical description:

White Shrimp: Lighter in color than pink or brown; uropods (tail) are typically black near the base with bright yellow and green margins; No grooves along the upper midline of the head and the upper midline of the lower region of the abdomen; long antennae and a long rostrum (horn on the head).

Pink Shrimp: Pink body with azure color on the tail and a dark red spot on the side of the abdomen; Possess grooves along the upper midline of the head and the upper midline of the lower region of the abdomen; these grooves are slightly narrower than those of brown shrimp.

Brown Shrimp: Pale in color; tails have red, dark green and sometimes light blue pigmentations; Possess grooves along the upper midline of the head and the upper midline of the lower region of the abdomen.

(Source: SCDNR, 2013,

Biological description:

These three shrimp species are found throughout the region with pink shrimp primarily harvested off the coast of Florida. All species have similar life cycles with spawning usually occurring in the ocean near beaches to several miles offshore. Spawning typically occurs in the spring and juvenile spend their time in creeks and estuaries before migrating offshore as adults to spawn. It takes 12-14 months to reach adult size and once shrimp spawn they die. Shrimp are bottom-feeding, opportunistic feeders, eating any organic matter – plant and animal.

South Atlantic Federal Regulations


OPEN in NC, SC, GA, & E. FL

The Shrimp Fishery Management Plan allows the States of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to request a closure in federal waters adjacent to closed state waters (limited to east coast of Florida) to the harvest of brown, pink or white shrimpfollowing severe cold weather that results in an 80% or greater reduction in the population of white shrimp or if water temperatures were below 48℉ (9℃) for at least one week. During a federal closure, a buffer zone is established extending seaward from shore to 25 nautical miles, inside of which no trawling is allowed with a net having less than 4"stretch mesh. Vessels trawling inside this buffer zone cannot have a shrimp net aboard (i.e., a net with less than 4" stretch mesh) in the closed portion of the federal zone. A vessel may transit South Atlantic cold weather closed areas while possessing brown shrimp, pink shrimp, or white shrimp provided the vessel is in transit and fishing gear is appropriately stowed. Transit means non-stop progression through the area with fishing gear appropriately stowed. Gear appropriately stowed means trawl doors in the rack (cradle), nets in the rigging and tied down, and try net on the deck



  • NOTICE: As of April 11, 2006, an owner or operator of a trawler that harvests or possesses brown, pink, or white shrimp (penaeid shrimp) in or from the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the southern Atlantic states must obtain a commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic penaeid shrimp. For information on the regulations and how to obtain a permit, see the Southeast Fishery Bulletin Small Entity Compliance Guide.
  • New Bycatch Reduction Devices Certified for the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Shrimp Fisheries, effective May 11, 2012 Read Fishery Bulletin (English and Vietnamese)
  • NOAA Certifies Additional Designs and Materials for Fishermen Currently Required to Use Turtle Excluder Devices (May 21, 2012) See Fishery Bulletin