It looks as though with year will be a good one for the brown shrimp harvest in the Gulf of Mexico. According to NOAA’s annual forecast, the harvest is expected to yield 44.2 million pounds, which is above the predicted value for the last two years. Dr. Rick Hart with the National Marine Fisheries Service says many factors in the water are adding up to lead to a productive season.

“The environmental conditions such as salinity and water temperatures are all indicating that it should be a good year for harvest.”

Although the predicted harvest is up from the last two years, it’s below the historical 56-year average of 56.2 pounds. Hart says moderate salinities combined with strong, consistent southerly winds have increased available nursery area and allowed for the greater distribution of juvenile shrimp.

“And those factors are actually in what we would call the good range for growth and survival of shrimps.”

The prediction covers the period from July 2017 through June 2018 for state and federal waters off Louisiana and federal waters off Texas. Hart says the U.S. heavily relies of Gulf caught shrimp.

“About 60% of the nation’s shrimp is harvested from the Gulf of Mexico, the majority of native, wild caught shrimp comes out of the Gulf.