Fishermen and other mariners are reporting higher numbers of non-native Asian tiger shrimp occuring off the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. In response to the phenomenon, NOAA recently announced that scientists have begun studying causes of the increase as well as possible consequences for native fish and seafood in both areas.
Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working with state agencies from North Carolina to Texas to look into how this transplanted species from Indo-Pacific, Asian and Australian waters reached U.S. waters, and what the increase in sightings means for native species.
According to USGS officials, reports of Asian tiger shrimp increased tenfold in 2011. The cause of the rapid increase in tiger shrimp populations remains uncertain. NOAA scientists are launching a research effort to understand more about the biology of these shrimp and how they may affect the ecology of native fisheries and coastal ecosystems.
Anyone who sees one or more shrimp suspected to be an Asian tiger shrimp is asked to note the location and report the sighting to the USGS NAS database at http://nas.er.usgs.gov/SightingReport.aspx
source: NOAA FishNews