Shrimp habitat varies on the species. Different species can be found in just about every habitat condition in the ocean; muddy water, sandy ocean floor, coral reefs and even the deep water of the canyon of the Gulf Coast. Most shrimp are hatched and grow up in the shallow marshes along the Gulf and East Coast. Wood’s Fisheries believes in keeping these habitats intact and pristine. We do not use boats that shrimp in the shallow marshes as to not damage the marsh which could impact the survival of a species of shrimp.
We only buy from the boats that have the most experienced crew and captains as they know bottom of the ocean floor in the shrimp areas better than most know their own yard. These captains carefully navigate the different bottoms using techniques that have very little impact on the shrimp’s habitat. We require any boat that provides us with shrimp to keep a log of any environmental concerns they may cause or come across such as nets snagging on a reef. These logs are verified by observers placed on the boats periodically.
Most of the shrimp are harvested over muddy bottoms with no structure. The otter trawls the shrimpers use run along the bottom and can easily be snagged on structure of reefs. To avoid damage to their nets, fishermen do not trawl in sensitive areas with coral reefs and other know areas of high relief.
The State of Florida created The Tortugas National Shrimp Sanctuary (3 Million Acres) where commercial shrimping is closed. This is an important habitat for the juvenile pink shrimp to grow before they migrate to the open shrimp ground.