Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Florida Seafood Products



Shrimp are decapod (10-legged) crustaceans that have large, well-developed eyes and long antennae. Most shrimp spawn offshore in deep water from early spring through early fall. Young shrimp are carried by currents into coastal estuaries to mature.

Shrimp is the most popular and valuable seafood in the United States, and Florida is an important supplier. Florida harvests four species of commercial-value shrimp: pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus), white shrimp (Penaeus setiferus), and royal red shrimp (Pleoticus robustus). Most shrimp harvested in Florida are the pink type.

Pink shrimp found along the Atlantic coast are usually brown; those found along the northern Gulf coast are often lemon-yellow; and those found in the Florida Tortugas are pink. White shrimp are grayish white with a green, red, or blue tinge on the tail and legs. Royal red shrimp are usually deep red but are sometimes grayish pink.

Shrimp has a sweet flavor and firm bite that just about everybody finds appealing. It’s very versatile and lends itself well to baking, boiling, frying, grilling, and steaming.

Shrimp isn’t just delicious; it’s good for you too. Shrimp is an excellent source of high-quality protein that is naturally low in fat, carbohydrates, and calories. Four ounces of raw, edible shrimp has 120 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, no saturated fat, and 23 grams of protein. Shrimp is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Shrimp are available fresh or frozen, whole, head-off, shell-on, peeled, peeled and deveined, and tail-on. Shrimp are sold by count, which is the number of shrimp in a pound.

When shopping for fresh shrimp, look for tightly adhering shells, intact legs, firm flesh, and a mild sea-breeze aroma—these are all indicators of freshness and quality. Keep shrimp cold on the drive home, store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, and cook within two days of purchase.

The next time you’re in the market for seafood, support your hardworking local shrimpers and choose Florida wild-caught shrimp. Wild-caught shrimp is available year round, but supplies are at their peak from June through December.

Purchasing pure, delicious Florida wild-caught shrimp is something you can feel good about. Imported farm-raised shrimp might be a little cheaper, but it is often produced at great expense to the environment and human health.

Florida wild-caught shrimp are naturally chemical-free, harvested in pristine waters in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. In Florida, shrimp are caught using trawls, which are cone-shaped nets towed along the bottom in waters near shore. Turtle excluder devices (TEDs) and by-catch reduction devices (BRDs) are used, as required by law, to minimize the capture of non-target marine turtles and fish.

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Contact Us About Seafood Products

Division of Marketing and Development
Bureau of Seafood and Aquaculture Marketing
The Collins Building, Innovation Park
2051 East Dirac Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32310

Martin May
(850) 617-7280
(850) 617-7281 Fax

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