FWC asks fishermen to report giant tiger prawn
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-487-0554
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is
asking fishermen to be on the lookout for nonnative giant tiger
prawn after a recent sighting in East Bay near Panama City. The
Sept. 19 catch marks the first time a giant tiger prawn was
reported to the FWC in Florida's northern Gulf of Mexico waters.
Reports have been common in Atlantic coastal waters, and three were
reported off the coast of St. Augustine this summer. Biologists are
also working to confirm reports of another sighting in Pensacola
Named for the black stripes on its shell, giant tiger prawn also
are known as black tiger shrimp and Asian tigers.
Impacts, both negative and positive, are unclear at this time,
but they could include competition for resources.
Native to Southeast Asia and Australia, the large (8 to 12
inches long) shrimp was first introduced into U.S. waters in 1988
after an accidental release of about 2,000 shrimp from an
aquaculture facility in Bluffton, S.C. About 10 percent of those
that were released were later recaptured, some as far south as Cape
After 1988, the next reported sighting wasn't until 2006. Since
then, several sightings have been reported along the Atlantic coast
from North Carolina southward. Gulf sightings have been rare but
are increasing in frequency in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama
If you catch any giant tiger prawn, the FWC requests you report
size, date and location of the capture, preferably with the GPS
coordinates, to Larry Connor at 352-357-2398 or ExoticReports@MyFWC.com.
Fishermen also are asked to either keep the shrimp for collection
or take photos of them for identification purposes.
It is unknown whether there is an established breeding
population, but there are several theories on why fishermen are
seeing more giant tiger prawn, including increased awareness among
fishermen and accidental releases in the Caribbean and South
Giant tiger prawn were a popular farmed shrimp in the '80s and
'90s, but preference has shifted toward the more economically
viable "Vanna Whites," a Pacific white shrimp.
USGS.gov website for more information on giant tiger prawn