Join me tomorrow as I go on the Asian Shrimp Hunt. My cousin in the Gulf has told me he is filling his plate (and belly) with these tasty morsels on a regular basis. Do not be alarmed my human friends, there will be no cannibal shrimp invasion on my watch! Pass the lemon and butter please.
The influx of the jumbo-sized shrimp (which look more like a small lobster than the little pink crustaceans you see at the grocery store) has increased 10 times in the last year, according to reports—from 32 in 2010 to 331 in 2011. The shrimp-eating shrimp have been spotted in waters from North Carolina to Texas.
These tasty crustaceans can measure up to 13 inches long and weigh nearly a pound, with dark and white stripes circling their bodies. Apparently, the Asian tiger prawn “are cannibalistic as are other shrimp, but it’s larger so it can consume the others.” Researchers worry that the Asian cannibal species is preying on the smaller, native sea life, competing for resources and carrying disease. They also compete for the native shrimp’s food supply and spread through their environs, disrupting the eco-balance. Tiger shrimp spawn between 50,000 and 1 million eggs a cycle, he says. Testing will determine whether the tiger shrimp are in the early stages of a population boom.
Scientists don’t know exactly how the Asian variety got to the Gulf Coast—the possibilities include breeding in the local waters or being carried to the area by currents or even grabbing their passports and immigrating here in the ballast water of ocean-crossing ships.
It is Barry the Barracuda’s personal mission to make sure we keep them in check so they do not become as rampant as the lionfish.
The USGS will next look into the tiger shrimp DNA and asks anyone who spots a tiger shrimp to report its location to the USGS. But I am telling you, just leave me the GPS coordinates here and I will take care of it for you. I promise!
Though last year’s numbers appear small compared with the vastness of the Gulf, they represent a fraction of the actual number of tiger shrimp believed to be in the Gulf and along the Eastern Seaboard. Most of the tiger shrimp counted last year came from Louisiana and the Carolinas’ coasts according to scientists.
George Barisich, a shrimper from St. Bernard Parish, La., hadn’t seen an Asian tiger shrimp in more than a decade. Last year, he brought up two in his nets. To an industry still reeling from the effects of the 2010 BP oil spill, the sightings are causing renewed distress, he says. “It’s just another hill to climb,” he says. “It’s definitely a concern.”
Asian Shrimp & Noodle Salad
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 5 cm ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (preferably not Barracuda)
- 2 tablespoons chili sauce
- 1 lime
- 10 large asian prawns
- 375 g noodles
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 1 chili
- 1/2 onion
- handful basil
- handful coriander
Add 1tbsp oil to the wok. Finely grate the ginger and mix with the fish sauce, chilli sauce, lime juice, and remaining oil. Stir-fry the prawns for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the sauce.
Put the noodles in a large bowl. Halve the cucumber lengthways and slice thickly, coarsely grate the carrot, and slice the chilli and the onion. Add to the noodles along with the fresh herbs. Mix in the prawns, toss well, and serve.
Until next time, Barry the Barracuda says, “Remember to lightly stir fry the prawns, do not overcook as they will continue to cook after you remove them from the pan.”
***The views, opinions and thoughts expressed here by Barry the Barracuda do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or thoughts of Danielle’s Dives or any of it’s affiliates. This post is strictly for entertainment purposes.”