Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Gulf of Mexico, a new menace, this one striped like a big cat, is preying on aquatic life: The black tiger shrimp.
The biggest saltwater shrimp in the world, black tigers “are cannibalistic as are other shrimp but it’s larger so it can consume the others,” Tony Reisinger, country extension agent for the Texas Sea Grant Extension Service, told CNN on Friday.
Because of the threat of disease, the predatory intruder poses a problem for the native shrimp and oyster population of the Gulf, Reisinger said.
"Our oystermen right now are hurting because the oyster season is shut down due to a red tide. But this (black tiger) shrimp poses other concerns,” he said.
Appearing more than 25 years ago, the black tiger’s sudden reappearance is a mystery.
“The first time they started appearing was in the late 1980s on the East Coast,” he said. “Then they disappeared in 1991.”
But following the record-breaking hurricane season of 2005, which brought successive monster storms Katrina, Rita and Wilma, they started showing up again, he said.
“They’re well over 1,000 of them in the Gulf of Mexico now,” he said. “We’ve had five of them caught off Texas.”
Reisinger said he spoke to the Brownsville-Port Isabel Shrimp Producers Association recently to warn them about the shrimp but he was too late.
“It turns our fishermen have been catching them for a while, but they didn’t think they were marketable so they were throwing them back,” he said.
Is there a harvestable population already established in the Gulf? What does that mean for the Louisiana and South Texas shrimp and oyster industry? Many questions remain, Reisinger said.
How come we can wipe out all these other species with ease except for the ones that are the invasive species that are causing trouble. Maybe BP can take them out wth another spill, as long as they don't release C'thulhu in the process.
Wee are pretty invasive, wonder where that leaves us.
Cthulhu sleeps beneath the South Pacific, not the Gulf of Mexico you little navigator.
They're hard to wipe out because when they say there are well over a 1000 of them then you have on average well over 1 of those critters in 1500 square kilometers of sea floor. I wonder why that is such a "huge" problem.
like, what did the BP oil spill do to our oysters and shrimp... what propaganda. why lease oil wells to anyone other than American companies and why have a pipeline from Canada. We can get it out of the Gulf of Mexico ourselves close to TEXAS.
Remember the Gulf oil well leak? Remember how they finally plugeed it with a week's worth of John McCain's soiled grampy diapers?
it's a not-so-shrimpy shrimp
It's a jumbo shrimp hahaha
I'm all for natural biodiversity, but choosing between an oyster and that gorgeous crustacean? Come on – I"m getting the grill fired up.
1980's (IXTOC) 140 million gallons of oil spills into the gulf of Mexico, and then you have another oil spill and disaster recently(Exxon/Mobil). And we cannot figure out why these guys are here again. Are you guys hiring?? I could use a regular paycheck.
That's interesting. why are these shrimps not marketable? aren't bigger shrimps much more expensive than smaller ones? maybe the reporter should dig into that?
Thats what I'm sayin!!
ever met a smart fisherman?
Why would -anyone- throw back a tiger shrimp! they taste good!
Really taste good, expensive, and very common in Northeast Australia.
That's a result of the BP oil spill. All kind of nasties emerge. survive, and thrive in what BP did.
You did see that they came back after the hurricanes in 2005, not after the BP disaster, right? They were there for another reason.
They are not nasty. They are delicious. You city folk haven't a clue. Sissy fraidy cats.
They are not nasty. They are delicious. You city folk haven't a clue. Sissy fraidy cats. I wonder how long you'll survive if we have a real depression and you have to fend for yourself..
giant shrimp...kinda like hot ice cream
A customer walks into a Long John Silvers fast food restaurant and orders a shrimp platter. The food service rep asks 'would you like that supersized?' The customer says 'Yes, I would.' The food service rep comes back with a cooked giant shrimp...
I don't see the problem with a shrimp that has 6" of tail meat.
Fire up the grill and open a beer I say!
It doesn't look appealing.. The face is kinda creepy.. eewwwll
No worse than a lobster or crab. Get thee gone, Vegan sissy.
Throwing tiger prawns back into the sea? What ails these shrimpers? Tiger prawns rock and fetch top dollar in the Asian markets.
Yum. Put some of those on the barby. What's the problem?
There are all kinds of unusual things going on the Gulf.
There was a report that very deep in the Gulf of Mexico..there is a layer of mercury that sealife that deep are thriving on. Makes you wonder how a living creature can produce mercury to live?
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