Gazebo Gazette

Friday morning, April 21, 2023 State Officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources announced (MDMR) that beginning Monday, May 1, 2023, all waters south of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and west of the Gulfport Ship Channel in Mississippi territorial waters are closed to shrimping.

The closure takes effect at 12:01 a.m.

“Waters located south of the Intracoastal Waterway and West of the Gulfport Ship Cannel close each year at the end of April to provide a protected staging area for small shrimp that will be caught in the coming season,” said MDMR Executive Director Joe Spraggins. ¬†“Sub-adult brown shrimp move into this area in the spring as they begin their migration and closure of the area to shrimping allows those shrimp to reach market size prior to harvest. ¬†Shrimp are an annual crop and seasonal closures help to ensure that shrimpers will have access to marketable catch for the coming season.”

Director Spraggins expressed the need for compliance with several Mississippi laws and regulations pertaining to this closure, which are MS Code 49-15-64.1 and MDMR Regulation Title 22 Part 2 Chapter 03, Rule 3.2.

Mississippi territorial waters south of the ICW and east of the Gulfport Ship Channel will remain open to shrimping as provided by law and the regulations of the MDMR.

All rules set forth in regulations of the MDMR are to be in full force and effect and all boats engaged in catching or transporting shrimp in or from the waters of the State of Mississippi must be legally licensed.

For more information, call the MDMR at 228-374-5000 or the Mississippi Shrimp Information Hotline at 866-938-7295.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes.

Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.