Pacific white shrimp, Penaeus vannamei
list may be incomplete|
Shrimps are small crustaceans usually classified in the suborder Natantia, found widely around the world, in both fresh and salt water.
Note that the taxonomy of the crustaceans is somewhat debated at present, and not all authorities recognise Natantia as a valid grouping, while some would place infraorders or superfamilies beneath it. Many shrimps would then be classified within the infraorder Penaeoida (treated by some as a suborder).
The points that seem relatively fixed amidst this fluidity are:
- All animals in the families listed at right would normally be regarded as shrimps.
- All current classifications place the shrimps in the order Decapoda, which groups them with crabs, lobsters and krill.
The usage of the common name "shrimp" also varies: zoologically, all crustaceans belonging to Natantia (or to a corresponding list of families) are called shrimps, but in common usage, especially in relation to cooking, some of the large ones are known as prawns.
Shrimps as food
A number of the larger species, including the white shrimp Penaeus setiferus, are caught commercially and used for food. Various recipes utilizing shrimp are a part of the cuisine of many cultures. Several types of shrimp are also kept in home aquaria.
People that catch shrimp are 'Shrimpers', and the act of catching shrimp is called 'Shrimping'. Strikers are the crewmen on the boat that set up and strike the nets.
There are 3 different methods for catching shrimp.
- Trawling, or Commercial shrimp catching is one method. There are several different nets on a Trawler(shrimp boat). Otter crawls are 4 nets in front of the 4 main nets. There is also a net they put directly behind the boat that they pick up periodicially to check on the status of their shrimping.
- Shrimp Baiting is considered a recreational and considered controversial shrimping technique. It involves a 'bait ball', which is a time-release bait, typically concocted of at least fishmeal and mud(the smell apparently lasts a few days on your hands!). It seems every shrimper has a different secret concoction for their bait ball. You then put the bait balls in the water, wait a little while for the shrimp to show up, and then use these small round nets to catch the bait.
- The third method is roughly a 6'x20' net that looks quite a bit like a volleyball net. One person walks along the beach side, and the other person walks along waist-deep in water dragging the net across the bottom to catch the shrimp.