Trends in Texas commercial fishery landings, 1977-1987
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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in cooperation with the National Marine Fisheries Service collects data on commercially landed finfish and shellfish from Texas bays and from the Gulf of Mexico off Texas. Shrimp continue to be the most important commercial seafood product landed in Texas. They represented an average 84% by weight, of all seafood landed from 1977 through 1987 and more than 94% of the total ex-vessel value. During this period blue crabs, Eastern oyster and finfish comprised 9%, 4% and 4% of total landings repectively. Since 1977, the mean unit price (price per pound) paid to commercial fishermen for shrimp has increased by 70%, while finfish prices increased 42%, Eastern oysters increased 48%, and blue crabs increased 57%. Shrimp represented an average 84%, by weight, of all seafood landed in calender year 1987 and 92% of the total 1987 ex-vessel value. During 1987 blue crabs, Eastern oysters and finfish comprised 11%, 3% and 3% total landings respectively, and 2%, 3% and 2% of the total ex-vessel value respectively. Compared to 1986 prices, the average 1987 unit price for shrimp and finfish decrease 15% and 3% respectively, while the price for blue crabs and Eastern oysters increased 11% and 12% respectively. The total reported landings and ex-vessel value for 1987 were 4% and 18% less than the record values of 1986. Total coastwide landings were more than 111 million pounds and ex-vessel value was over $201 million.