Commercial shrimp fisheries

Commercial-sized catch of spot shrimp
Photo by WDFW

Commercial shrimping on the Washington coast and Puget Sound are long-running fisheries that provide economic benefits to local communities. 

Commercial shrimp fishing off the Washington coast dates from the late 1950s. Although other species of shrimp are present, only pink shrimp (Pandalus jordani) have been abundant enough to support a large, long-term commercial fishery. Washington coastal shrimp fishing activity is split between two ports: Westport and Ilwaco, with processors located at each. Pink shrimp are caught by trawl gear; the majority of active vessels in the Washington fleet are double-rigged with semi-pelagic, fine-meshed shrimp nets.

Puget Sound, meanwhile, is home to four separate state-managed commercial shrimp fisheries: fixed gear spot shrimp pot, fixed gear non-spot shrimp pot, non-spot shrimp beam trawl, and intertidal burrowing shrimp. Each fishery is managed separately and has independent quotas, management goals, and gear limitations.