Wood’s Fisheries has been fishing for over 150 years and from that time sustainability and conservation has been a priority. Sustainability practices for shrimp fisheries have be going since the start of Wood’s commercially harvesting shrimp, there was just not a formal term put to it.
Many companies from many different industries make eco-statements calling themselves a “green company” or “pioneers of sustainability” but what does that really mean? To some it is just reducing paper usage to others it’s protecting the environment, to us it is protecting a way of life.
Sustainability is much deeper to us, it goes beyond ensuring ample shrimp stock or just protecting the habitat in which they spawn, grow, and live. It goes all the way to the people who are affected by the fishery, directly or indirectly.
When we look at our sustainability practices we ask these questions:
Fish (Shrimp) Stock
Is the fishery being overfished?
According to a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and NOAA’s FishWatch the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic shrimp populations are abundant and not in danger of being overfished. Read more about shrimp stock and reproduction.
Do methods used to harvest the shrimp harm fish habitats?
Most shrimp are harvested over barren muddy bottoms. To avoid damage to their nets, fishermen do not trawl in sensitive areas with coral reefs and other known areas of high relief. Read information on the effects of shrimping on habitats.
Are there any other fish species impacted by the harvest of the shrimp?
By-Catch is one main area of concern because of the amount of small fin-fish and turtles that are in the same area as the shrimp. Regulation is now in place for all trawl nets to have By-Catch Reduction Devices and Turtle Excluder Devices. Read Woods Fisheries response to this area of concern.
How does the fishery impact the people and community?
The commercial harvest of White Shrimp alone was worth over $200 million. This makes the commercial shrimp fishery in the southeast one of the most economically important fisheries. Wood’s Fisheries is one of the largest private employers in Gulf Counties with a higher average pay rate for general labor pay rate. Read about our commitment to our boats, employees, vendors, customers, and community.