NOAA Fisheries announces federal waters from 9 to 200 nautical miles off Texas will close to shrimp trawling at 30 minutes after official sunset, local time, on May 15, 2016, corresponding to the time Texas closes its state waters to shrimp trawling.
Federal waters off Texas are west of the line shown in the map below. Fishermen should not use any other division between Texas and Louisiana federal waters, including lines on NOAA Chart 1116A, which is to be used for mineral rights and not for navigation.
The shrimp fishery is closed annually off Texas to allow brown shrimp to reach a larger and more valuable size prior to harvest, and to prevent waste of brown shrimp that might otherwise be discarded due to their small size.
The Texas closure ranges from 45 to 90 days. The closing and re-opening dates of the Texas closure are based on the results of biological sampling by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This sampling is used to project the closure, which coincides with brown shrimp in Texas bays and estuaries reaching a mean size of 90 mm, and beginning strong emigrations out of the bays and estuaries during maximum duration ebb tides. For 2016, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has determined these criteria will be met on May 15.
Texas will re-open state waters to shrimp trawling based on sampling projections of when brown shrimp will reach a mean size of 112 mm, and when maximum duration ebb tides will occur. NOAA Fisheries will re-open federal waters off Texas when Texas re-opens its state waters. Historically, the re-opening has been on or about July 15. If there is a need to adjust the July 15 date for the re-opening, notification of the revised date will be published in the Federal Register and in an additional news bulletin.
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