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Pink (Ocean) Shrimp Enhanced Status Report

Table of Contents

Pink Shrimp (Pandulus jordani)

Range of Pink Shrimp

Scientific Name

Pandalus jordani


Pink Shrimp are known to inhabit Southeast Alaska to San Diego, California, and most abundant off the coast of Oregon.


Pink Shrimp dwell in deep waters,150 to 1,200 feet, aggregating near the bottom during the day in well-defined areas of muddy habitat called beds and ascending into the water column at night to feed.

Pink Shrimp habitat

Size (length and weight)

Pink Shrimp are fast-growing. Individual growth rates vary by sex, location, year class, season, and age. Mean carapace length for 1-, 2-, and 3-year old shrimp ranges from 0.5 to 0.7 inches (13 to 17 millimeters), 0.7 to 1.0 inches (18 to 25 millimeters), and 1.0 to 1.1 inches (25 to 29 millimeters), respectively.

Life span

Pink Shrimp are short-lived at approximately 5 years. In California, few shrimp survive beyond the fourth year.


Pink Shrimp are protandric hermaphrodites, changing sex from males to females after approximately the first year and a half. Mating occurs during September-October.


Pink Shrimp feed on zooplankton, including copepods and krill. Stomach contents have also included diatoms, sponges, polychaetes, amphipods, and isopods.


Many commercially important fish species, including Pacific Hake (Merluccius productus), Arrowtooth Flounder (Atheresthes stomia), Sablefish (Anoploploma fimbria), Petrale Sole (Eopsetta jordani), Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias), and several species of rockfish and skates prey on Pink Shrimp.


There is only a commercial fishery for Pink Shrimp. Point Conception divides the northern and southern management regions. In 2017 more than 3.4 million pounds (1,542 metric tons) were landed in California and generated more than $1.6 million in revenue. Average ex-vessel price has varied between $0.30 and $0.53 per pound since 2002 and was $0.77 per pound in 2016.

Diagram of a double-rigged vessel pulling two otter trawls used on Pink Shrimp vessels (Reproduced from Jones et al. 1996).

Pink Shrimp landings (million lb) and value (million dollars), 1970-2017 (CDFW Commercial Fisheries Information System 2018).

Area fished

Pink Shrimp are sought from British Columbia to Point Arguello, California, with the majority of landings concentrated in northern California. In 2013, 76% of the catch was landed in Crescent City and 24% was landed in Eureka (less than 1% was landed in Santa Barbara). Since 2008, trawling is only allowed in federal waters.

Fishing season

The Pink Shrimp fishery experiences a seasonal closure from 01 November to 14 April to protect egg-bearing females.

Fishing gear

Benthic trawl equipped with a bycatch reduction device via single (southern fleet) or double (northern fleet) rigged vessel are used when fishing for Pink Shrimp. A minimum mesh size of 1.38 inches (36 millimeters) allows for escapement of small 0- and 1-year old shrimp.


Pink Shrimp are primarily exported to Europe, though some domestic consumption occurs. Shrimp are shelled, cooked, and frozen prior to sale. They are often used for salads or “shrimp cocktails”.

Current stock status

No current estimates of the Pink Shrimp population abundance in California exist. Recruitment varies substantially from year to year in response to environmental factors, causing natural fluctuations in abundance.


Since 2004 the fishery has been principally state-managed, although some federal regulations apply. These include daily and monthly trip limits for incidental catches of groundfish species, use of a vessel monitoring system, onboard observer coverage, and area restrictions protecting groundfish essential fish habitat. A separate permit is needed to fish in the northern and southern management regions. The fishery in the southern region is open access. The fishery in the northern region is limited entry. Regulations are the same for both management regions. Trawling is only allowed in federal waters. No quota or catch limits exist. A seasonal closure exists. Gear must contain a bycatch reduction device and have a minimum mesh size of 1.38 inches (36 millimeters). A maximum count of 160 per pound effectively functions as a size limit.

Version: The Pink Shrimp Enhanced Status Report was updated in print and online in 2019.

Download: Pink Shrimp Enhanced Status Report (2019) (pdf)

Contact Us: To contact CDFW regarding the Pink Shrimp fishery, please email invert@wildlife.ca.gov or call (831) 649-2870.

Citation: California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2019. Pink (Ocean) Shrimp, Pandalus jordani, Enhanced Status Report.

Contributor(s): Julia Coates (2019)

Pink (Ocean) Shrimp Enhanced Status Report (2019)

Table of Contents
  1. The Species
    1. Natural History
      1. Species Description
      2. Range, Distribution, and Movement
      3. Reproduction, Fecundity, and Spawning Season
      4. Natural Mortality
      5. Individual Growth
      6. Size and Age at Maturity
    2. Population Status and Dynamics
      1. Abundance Estimates
      2. Range, Distribution, and Movement
      3. Age Structure of the Population
    3. Habitat
    4. Ecosystem Role
      1. Associated Species
      2. Predator-prey Interactions
    5. Effects of Changing Oceanic Conditions
  2. The Fishery
    1. Location of the Fishery
    2. Fishing Effort
      1. Number of Vessels and Participants Over Time
      2. Type, Amount, and Selectivity of Gear
    3. Landings in the Recreational and Commercial Sectors
      1. Recreational
      2. Commercial
    4. Social and Economic Factors Related to the Fishery
  3. Management
    1. Past and Current Management
      1. Overview and Rationale for the Current Management Framework
        1. Criteria to Identify When Fisheries Are Overfished or Subject to Overfishing, and Measures to Rebuild
        2. Past and Current Stakeholder Involvement
      2. Target Species
        1. Limitations on Fishing for Target Species
          1. Catch
          2. Effort
          3. Gear
          4. Time
          5. Sex
          6. Size
          7. Area
          8. Marine Protected Areas
        2. Description of and Rationale for Any Restricted Access Approach
      3. Bycatch
        1. Amount and Type of Bycatch (Including Discards)
        2. Assessment of Sustainability and Measures to Reduce Unacceptable Levels of Bycatch
          Discard Mortality
          Impact on Fisheries that Target Bycatch Species
          Bycatch of Overfished, Threatened, or Endangered Species
          Measures to Reduce Bycatch
      4. Habitat
        1. Description of Threats
        2. Measures to Minimize Any Adverse Effects on Habitat Caused by Fishing
    2. Requirements for Person or Vessel Permits and Reasonable Fees
  4. Monitoring and Essential Fishery Information
    1. Description of Relevant Essential Fishery Information
      Biological Information
      Fishery-dependent Indicators
      Environmental Indicators
    2. Past and Ongoing Monitoring of the Fishery
      1. Fishery-dependent Data Collection
        Monitoring of Bycatch Rates
      2. Fishery-independent Data Collection
  5. Future Management Needs and Directions
    1. Identification of Information Gaps
    2. Research and Monitoring
      1. Potential Strategies to Fill Information Gaps
      2. Opportunities for Collaborative Fisheries Research
    3. Opportunities for Future
      Management of the Target Stock
      Restricted Access
      Stakeholder Communication
    4. Climate Readiness
List of Acronyms
ABC: Allowable Biological Catch
BRD: Bycatch Reduction Device
CCR: California Code of Regulations
CDFG: California Department of Fish and Game
CDFW: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
CPUE: Catch Per Unit Effort
EFH: Essential Fish Habitat
EIS: Environmental Impact Statement
ESA: Endangered Species Act
ESR: Enhanced Status Report
FCG: Fish and Game Code
FMP: Fishery Management Plan
HCR: Harvest Control Rule
IBC: Indicators of Biological Concern
LED: Light Emitting Diode
MLMA: Marine Life Management Act
MPA: Marine Protected Area
MSC: Marine Stewardship Council
NMFS: National Marine Fisheries Service
ODFW: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
PFMC: Pacific Fishery Management Council
PSTG: Pink Shrimp Trawl Grounds
RCA: Rockfish Conservation Area
WCGOP: West Coast Groundfish Observer Program
List of Figures

Figure 1-1. Range of Pink Shrimp.

Figure 1-2. Three size (age) classes of Pink Shrimp.

Figure 1-3. Annual age composition (percent) of Pink Shrimp landed in Oregon, 1975-2017.

Figure 1-4. Pink Shrimp habitat.

Figure 2-1. Historical Pink Shrimp trawl locations in a) northern California and b) southern California.

Figure 2-2. Participation (active vessels) and landings (million lb) in the Pink Shrimp fishery, 1970-2017.

Figure 2-3. Diagrams of a) single-rigged vessel pulling one otter trawl, and b) double-rigged vessel pulling two otter trawls used on Pink Shrimp vessels.

Figure 2-4. Diagram of a rigid-grate BRD used in the Pink Shrimp fishery.

Figure 2-5. Pink Shrimp landings (million lb) and value (million dollars), 1970-2017.

Figure 2-6. Catch per trip of Pink Shrimp, 1970-2017.

Figure 2-7. Pink Shrimp on a trawl vessel deck.

Figure 2-8. Pink Shrimp percentage of total landings by port in 2017.

Figure 2-9. Pink Shrimp processing.

Figure 5-1. Eulachon in trawls a) without and b) with LED lights in Pink Shrimp landings.

List of Tables

Table 2-1. Poundage, ex-vessel value, and price per pound for Pink Shrimp, from 2000 to 2014 (most recent year of data).

Table 3-1. Observed catch of groundfish by Pink Shrimp trawlers in California, 2014.

Table 3-2. Observed catch of non-groundfish by Pink Shrimp trawlers in California, 2014.

Table 3-3. Pink Shrimp bycatch of the California fleet vs. ABC of rebuilding or recently rebuilt species.

Table 3-4. List of fees for Pink Shrimp trawl vessel permits.

Table 5-1. Informational needs for Pink Shrimp and their priority for management.

Literature Cited

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Anderson PJ, Piatt JF. 1999. Community reorganization in the Gulf of Alaska following ocean climate regime shift. Marine Ecology Progress Series 189: 117-123. 

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Butler TH. 1964. Growth, reproduction, and distribution of pandalid shrimps in British Columbia. Journal of the Fisheries Board of Canada 21(6): 1403-1452.

California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). 2007. Information Concerning the Pink Shrimp Trawl Fishery off Northern California. Report to the Fish and Game Commission. 24 December 2007. Accessed 01 May 2018. https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=36331.

California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). 2008. Status of the fishery report – an update through 2006. Report to the Fish and Game Commission as directed by the Marine Life Management Act. June 2008. Accessed 01 May 2018.  https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=34405&inline=true.

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Dahlstrom WA. 1973. The status of the ocean shrimp resource and its management. California Department of Fish and Game Marine Resources Technical Report. No. 14. 19 p.

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Hannah RW. 1993. Influence of environmental variation and spawning stock levels on recruitment of ocean shrimp (Pandalus jordani). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 50(3): 612–622.

Hannah RW. 1999. A new method for indexing spawning stock and recruitment in ocean shrimp, Pandalus jordani, and preliminary evidence for a stock-recruitment relationship. Fishery Bulletin 97(3): 482-494.

Hannah RW. 2010. Use of a pre-recruit abundance index to improve forecasts of ocean shrimp (Pandalus jordani) recruitment from environmental models. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Reports. No 51. 219 p.

Hannah RW, Jones SA. 1991. Fishery induced changes in the population structure of Pink Shrimp (Pandalus jordani). Fishery Bulletin89: 41–51.

Hannah RW, Jones SA. 2007. Effectiveness of bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) in the ocean shrimp (Pandalus jordani) trawl fishery. Fisheries Research 85(1-2):217–225.

Hannah RW, Jones SA, Miller W, Knight JS. 2010. Effects of trawling for ocean shrimp (Pandalus jordani) on macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity at four sites near Nehalem Bank, Oregon. Fishery Bulletin 108:30-38.

Hannah RW, Jones SA, Lomeli MJM, Wakefield WW. 2011. Trawl net modifications to reduce the bycatch of Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) in the ocean shrimp (Pandalus jordani) fishery. Fisheries Research 110(2):277-282.

Hannah RW. 2011. Variation in the distribution of ocean shrimp (Pandalus jordani) recruits: links with coastal upwelling and climate change. Fisheries Oceanography 20(4):305-313.

Hannah RW, Lomeli MJ, Jones SA. 2015. Tests of artificial light for bycatch reduction in an ocean shrimp (Pandalus jordani) trawl: strong but opposite effects at the footrope and near the bycatch reduction device. Fisheries Research 170:60-67.

Jones SA, Hannah RW, Golden JT. 1996. A Survey of Trawl Gear Employed in the Fishery for Ocean Shrimp. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Information Reports Number 96-6. Accessed 01 May 2018. https://nrimp.dfw.state.or.us/CRL/Reports/Info/96-6.pdf

Last K, Hendrick V, Sotheran I, Foster-Smith B, Foster-Smith D, Hutchison Z. 2012. Assessing the Impacts of Shrimp Fishing on Sabellaria spinulosaReef and Associated Biodiversity in the Wash and North Norfolk SAC, Inner Dowsing Race Bank North Ridge SAC and Surrounding Areas. Report for Natural England. May 2012. 48 p.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). 2007. The Oregon pink (ocean) shrimp trawl fishery. Accessed 01 May 2018. http://www.msc.org/assets/docs/Oregon_pink_shrimp/Final_Report_Oct_2007.pdf.  

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 2005. Essential Fish Habitat Designation and Minimization of Adverse Impacts Final Environmental Impact Statement. Accessed 01 May 2018. https://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/nepa/groundfish/final_groundfish_efh_eis.html

National Research Council (NRC). 2002. Effects of trawling and dredging on seafloor habitat. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 136 p.

North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). 2010. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) 5-year Review for 2010. https://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDFdocuments/conservation_issues/EFH/EFH5yr_rev1209.pdf.

Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC). 2010. Data report and summary analyses of the California and Oregon Pink Shrimp trawl fishery. West Coast Groundfish Observer Program. National Marine Fisheries Service. 30 p.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). 2013. Annual Pink Shrimp review. Accessed 01 May 2018. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/publications/docs/shrimp_newsletter2013.pdf.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). 2014a. Annual Pink Shrimp review. Accessed 01 May 2018.  http://www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/publications/docs/shrimp_newsletter2014.pdf.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). 2014b. A comparison of 2007 and 2013 macroinvertebrate surveys of mud habitats at Nehalem Bank, Oregon: changes in areas with continued trawling and those closed to trawling in 2006. Information Reports Number 2014 – 03. Accessed 01 May 2018. https://www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/shellfish/commercial/shrimp/docs/ODFW-INFO-2014-03-Hannah,%20Jones,%20Kupillas,%20Miller-A%20comparison%20of%202007%20and%202013%20macroinvertebrate%20surveys%20of%20Nehalem%20Banks.pdf.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). 2014c. The Population Dynamics of Oregon Ocean Shrimp (Pandalus jordani)and Recommendations for Management Using Target and Limit Reference Points or Suitable Proxies. Information Reports Number 2014-08. Accessed 01 May 2018.  https://www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/shellfish/commercial/shrimp/docs/ODFW-INFO-2014-08-%20Hannah,%20Jones-%20Shrimp%20Target%20and%20Limit%20Management.pdf.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). 2014d. Mid-season Pink Shrimp update. Accessed 01 May 2018.  http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/publications/docs/shrimp_newsletter2014_midseason.pdf.

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