Alabama researchers offering money for tiger shrimp
DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WPMI) —
Alabama researchers are shelling out $30 for every Asian Tiger Shrimp you reel in. There's no catch, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab says they just want to study the large invasive shrimp.
Dr. Jennifer Hall, an assistant professor with Louisiana Tech University who's working out of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, will study the shrimp and try to figure out their impacts as a relatively new invasive species.
"They're still very rare,"she said. "Our shrimpers will catch between two and four maybe a week, when they're pulling up thousands of pounds worth of native shrimp."
Dr. Hill said tiger shrimp could prey on native species. Past studies show that tiger shrimp try to catch white and brown shrimp, but aren't good at it. The concern is tiger shrimp will learn, or they'll eat up the native species food source. That's where the bounty for tiger shrimp comes in.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is offering $30 per Asian Tiger Shrimp, alive. Researchers want to find out if there are any local predators to control the growing population.
"So the predator we're looking at mostly are red drums. Red drums like to eat shrimp, they like to eat things that live on the bottom," Dr. Hill said.
Hill said tiger shrimp do not look to be a serious problem right now. They are monitoring because of how important native shrimp are to our area, not only for the ecosystem but also for fishermen hoping to reel in a bigger meal.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab has yet to receive an Asian Tiger Shrimp. It will pay $50 for the first one they get.