American Fisheries Society
the 1998 Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
Meeting held in Athens, Texas.
Trends in Composition of the Texas Commercial Shrimp Fleet, 1986-1996
Kurtis K. Schlicht, Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department, Seabrook Marine Lab,
Long term data on the composition of the Texas commercial shrimp fleet were analyzed to identify trends in numbers, size, license classes and home port distribution for the period 1986-1996. The total number of licensed commercial shrimp boats decreased 50% during this period for 5811 in 1986 to 2861 in 1996. The largest decrease in licenses (949) over the ten year period was for vessels <7.6 m in length. Vessels between >7.6-16.8 m in length holding combination bay/bait licenses showed the greatest increase from 120 in 1986 to 324 in 1996. In 1995, the majority (90%) of all licensed vessels were registered in coastal counties. Vessels registered in the Houston-Pasadena-Baytown ports accounted for 46% of all vessels licensed in 1995, which represented nearly a three-fold increase in total vessel contribution from these ports compared to 1986 (16% of all licensed vessels). Changes in the composition of the Texas commercial shrimp fleet may be attributed to several factors: changes in the economic value of the shrimp industry, declines in catch despite increases in effort by commercial shrimpers, and increased changes in regulations and license fees.
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Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744