South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Shrimp (Penaeid)

Shrimp (Penaeid)

Brown Shrimp, Pink Shrimp, White Shrimp
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
All areas are open for commercial fishing.

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; possesses 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,

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 juveniles 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.

NOTE: The following regulations refer to federal waters only. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this species’ state regulations, please visit or contact your local state’s fishery management agency.


Photo: NC Fishes


  • Season is currently open.
  • Notes:

    Recreational Regulations for South Atlantic Waters:

    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 Fishery Bulletin 12-027 NOAA Certifies Additional Designs and Materials for Fishermen Currently Required to Use Turtle Excluder Devices (May 21, 2012) Fishery Bulletin 12-037

    For more information on management of South Atlantic federal fisheries, please visit SAFMC or NOAA Fisheries.

    To see commercial regulations, download Fish Rules Commercial App for iOS devices or Android devices.

Amendments in progress

  • Coral Amendment 10

    Establishes a Shrimp Fishery Access Area along the eastern boundary of the northern extension of the Oculina Bank Habitat Area of Particular Concern.

    Final approval