Reward offered for catching rare shrimp

Reward offered for catching rare shrimp

Get out your nets and get ready to make some money - that is if you are lucky. Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) is offering a $30 reward for a rare shrimp in our waterways.

"They are kind of like lobsters," Dr. Jennifer Hill, an assistant professor at Louisiana Tech University said via Skype. "They get up to a half pound a piece per shrimp."

It is not exactly known how Asian Tiger Shrimp ended up in the northern Gulf of Mexico, but the population of the invasive species has steadily grown. Hill, and Dr. Ken Heck with DISL are working together on a study to learn more about the shrimp's impacts.

"They're still very rare," Hill said. "Our shrimpers will catch between two and four maybe a week when they're pulling up thousands of pounds worth of native shrimp."

Hill said it is possible that Tiger Shrimp could prey on native species. In past studies, Tiger Shrimp tried to catch white and brown shrimp, but most of the time were unsuccessful. The concern is that Tiger Shrimp will learn or they will eat up the native species food source.

That is where the reward comes in. DISL received a grant to pay $30 per live Tiger Shrimp recovered so researchers could study the crustaceans. The shrimp have to be kept in aerated seawater until researchers can pick them up. DISL will take the first 50. Researchers want to find out if there are any local predators that eat Tiger Shrimp.

"The predator we're looking at mostly are red drums," Hill said. "Red drums like to eat shrimp, they like to eat things that live on the bottom."

She does not believe the problem to be serious right now. They are monitoring because of how important white and brown shrimp are to the area's ecosystem.

If you recover a live Tiger Shrimp, call (251) 861-2141 ext. 2179.

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