A shrimp trawler, more commonly referred to as a shrimp boat, is a large fishing vessel used to harvest shrimp.
A vital characteristic of the trawler is its outriggers. Outriggers protrude from the rest of the vessel and pull along the net or trawl. They allow the boats to trawl more lines in the water, while seeking shrimp in deep water. Shrimp boats have powerful deck winches that help haul in the large nets filled with shrimp.
Overall, the best net for shrimping depends on the water depth and size of shrimp. Wing nets are great for deep waters. They act as a visual and physical barrier which herds or guides the animals into the net.
Seine nets have a large wall of netting with a drawstring or pocket at one end and encircle the catch. They work well in shallow waters.
Conical nets are cone-shaped with an opening at one end. These are ideal for catching the smaller shellfish.
Usually these vessels use a variety of fishing gear, such as sorting tables, ice boxes, and fish pumps. Trawlers typically hold up to 500 thousand harvested pounds during their season.
Small family-run businesses with generations of experience on the water harvesting often own and operate the shrimpers.
Trawlers are usually painted bright colors to make them more visible on the water, and to help with identification. They are a vital part of many coastal communities’ economies.
Boat captains and their crews work diligently to ensure a successful harvest. Many of the boats use GPS systems to track their progress out at sea. Radar systems help them detect schools, allowing them to target their netting efforts and maximize their catch. It takes a crew an incredible amount of hard work to ensure a successful harvest each season.
Shrimp boats provide an incredible service to the fishing industry and many coastal communities. They play an iconic part of the maritime industry. They protect the health of our oceans and provide a vital economic resource to local communities.