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Brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus) are North Carolina’s most abundant shrimp species and support a major commercial fishery along our central and southern coastline. Brown shrimp are spawned in the ocean and carried by tides and wind-driven currents into our estuaries in late winter and early spring.
Most brown shrimp are caught in the summer and have a maximum life span of 18 months. They can grow as large as nine inches. Brown shrimp account for 67% of North Carolina’s shrimp landings.
White shrimp (Penaeus setiferus), or green tails, are the second-most abundant species in North Carolina. White shrimp are spawned in the ocean from March to November and are carried by tides and wind-driven currents into our estuaries.
White shrimp are harvested primarily in the fall. These shrimp have a maximum life span of 24 months and they can grow as large as eight inches. White shrimp account for 28% of North Carolina’s shrimp landings.
Pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), or spotted shrimp, are spawned in the ocean April through July and carried by tides and wind-driven currents into our estuaries where they overwinter.
Pink shrimp are harvested in the spring and the fall, and have a maximum life span of 24 months. They can grow as large as 11 inches. Pink shrimp account for 5% of North Carolina’s shrimp landings.
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