There are increased reports of the Asian tiger shrimp Penaeus Monodon found along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, which has scientists worried that the problem could soon wipe out the native species’ territory in the waters.
They can grow 13 inches long and weigh about a quarter-pound.
This is pretty much a shrimp lovers paradise!
However, the black-and-white-striped species may bring disease and competition, and that’s why biologists worried.
“We can confirm there was nearly a tenfold jump in reports of Asian tiger shrimp in 2011,” explained Pam Fuller, the USGS biologist who runs the agency’s Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database. “And they are probably even more prevalent than reports suggest, because the more fisherman and other locals become accustomed to seeing them, the less likely they are to report them.”
NOAA scientists are launching a research effort to understand more about the biology of this shrimp and how they may affect the ecology of native fisheries and coastal ecosystems.
As with all non-native species, there are concerns over the potential for novel avenues of disease transmission and competition with native shrimp stocks, especially given the high growth rates and spawning rates compared with other species.