Foot-long Asian tiger shrimp caught on the St. Johns River

It’s not unusual for them to see them here, but representatives for the Trout River Fish Company say they’ve never seen one this big.

Even though the catch was one to remember, it brings to light a problem that can affect the amount and cost of seafood that you buy.

The Asian tiger shrimp is an invasive species to the St. Johns that eats meat and is impacting the ecosystem here on the First Coast. That has shrimpers worried.

“We’ve been in this business for 57 years,” said Kaleigh Rhodes with the Trout River Fish Company.

The company has seen a lot of customers, but over the years their competition isn’t the shop down the street.

“They got a big playground, a large playground,” said Robin Emmett.

Emmett’s talking about Asian tiger shrimp.

“We do catch them, but to see one that is 12 inches long is rare,” said Rhodes.

And it’s something that no shrimper wants to see in their net.

They are aggressive, they are meat eaters and they would love to eat on our shrimp,” said Emmett.

These shrimpers say they are seeing more of them; but not quite this big.

“Nothing nowhere near that size, not even if they are even half as big as this one, that’s a huge shrimp.”

Emmett says the invasive shrimp are a threat to local shrimpers’ supply, but recognizes that a catch this big will probably only happen once in a lifetime.

“They put out nets and drag them for about 30 minutes and see what the catch brings,” he said. “This one here brought an oddity.”


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