Northern Shrimp Management and Research


Shrimp trawl fisheries are managed exclusively by the State of Alaska. Northern shrimp are currently harvested in trawl fisheries only in the western Gulf of Alaska, Prince William Sound, and Southeast Alaska.

Trawl fisheries in western Alaska are managed under the Westward Region Shrimp Management Plan, first approved in 1982. The plan sets minimum biomass thresholds for allowing harvest in some of the historically most productive inshore areas. Guideline harvest levels are set based on catch history from trawl surveys and a voluntary logbook. Other inshore waters are closed to otter and beam trawling. Remaining offshore waters are open by regulation without biomass thresholds or harvest guidelines, but have supported very little fishing since the 1986-87 season.

The Prince William Sound trawl fishery is managed under guideline harvest levels based on trawl surveys in the northwest and historic catches in the southwest. The fishery targets sidestripe shrimp and has a 10% bycatch limit on northern shrimp.

Southeast Alaska trawl fisheries are managed under guideline harvest levels based on historic catches. Fisheries are closed in the spring during the egg-hatching period. Multiple fishing periods are established to spread out harvest over time and take advantage of growth and recruitment. The Southeast trawl fishery has transitioned to targeting mostly sidestripe shrimp, and northern shrimp are taken as bycatch.


Northern shrimp stocks are typically assessed using trawl survey estimates of abundance, as well as survey and fishery sampling of size and sex composition.

Other types of shrimp research focus on taxonomy, reproduction, larval development, competition and predation, parasites and diseases, food habits, molting and growth, factors that affect population dynamics, and methods of managing fisheries for sustained yield.

For more ADF&G shrimp research see: