Last Monday, the Coast Guard Cutter Heron caught two shrimping boats hauling up their catches in closed waters and seized nearly 15,000 pounds of shrimp, which have a value of roughly $22,000. And, according to News 92 FM, that seizure "made for a total of more than $69,000 worth of shrimp seized within the last week."
On top of that haul, the Coast Guard caught another boat this past Wednesday working in conjunction with National Marine Fisheries Service for a total haul of $47,000 worth of shrimp from three separate shrimping boats off the coast of Galveston.
It's worth a reminder that the commercial shrimp season has a pretty solid reason for closing each year, and that's to protect the shrimping industry as a whole.
Says the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: "The purpose of the closed Gulf season is to protect brown shrimp during their major period of emigration from the bays to the Gulf of Mexico until they reach a larger, more valuable size before harvest and to prevent waste caused by the discarding of smaller individuals."
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Commercial shrimp season will open again this year on Sunday, July 15. And if you're curious as to what happens to the shrimp that are seized by the Coast Guard, News 92 FM has your answer:
When shrimp are illegally caught in closed waters the fisheries service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, sells the illegal catches at a fair market value and holds the proceeds from the sale in an escrow account until final adjudication of the case is reviewed by authorities.