The decline of shrimp in the gulf of Mexico

Subject: Environment
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1110
Topics: Ecology, Environmental Issues, Oil Spill

Table of Contents

Shores of Gulf of Mexico have always been attracting huge population. The main aim of the population is to get a shrimp delicacy which is famously known as one of the sweetest and nutritious marine organism. However, fishing activities and population of people at the Gulf of Mexico has been reducing. There have been many speculations about the cause.  Fishermen and marine professionals have hypothesized two reasons for the decline in Shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico. The first speculation is that overfishing has caused reduction of Shrimp population. The second group claims that BP oil spill damaged the home of Shrimp thus reducing the number of these organisms. Therefore, this project aims at determining the main cause of the reduction in the population of shrimp between overfishing and oil spillage. From the details below it will be easy to have a conclusion.

In 2010, the Gulf of Mexico suffered a great disaster. There was an incidence of oil spillage. Many barons of oil destroyed the gulf and remained on top of the contaminated water. It is considered as the greatest oil spill on water in the world history. Apart from causing the death of eleven people, the lives of marine organisms were greatly hampered. The spillage largely affected the lives of Shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico. The number of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico reduced drastically until it reached moment where fishing has been restricted in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists have indicated that BP oil spillage has led to the destruction of reefs which are the homes of millions of marine lives including Shrimp type of fish. At the time of oil spill coral reefs which are the place where Shrimp spend most of the time and live were greatly damaged. Corals at the Gulf of Mexico were exposed to large amount of oil that had spilt. During the time of oil spillage, Coral reefs came in contact with it and it had the following effects.

Oil spillage impeded the growth of Coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. Once the location where shrimp lives reduced in terms of growth then the lives of Shrimp were at risk. It reached a point where there was no growth of coral reefs. This meant that shrimp could not get a place to live and spend most of their time hence could easily be killed by other aquatic species. The impediment of growth is also caused by rising in temperature in the sea after BP oil spill. Coral reefs are very vulnerable to high temperature (Brown & Davis, 2012). Therefore, when oil spilt in the Gulf of Mexico, the temperature in inside water increased creating an unbearable condition for reefs. This leads to reefs growing algae that affect their nutrition needs.

Therefore with lack or inadequate growth of Coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, the following are impacts to the shrimps. Lack coral reefs mean that a place for spending most of their times has been destroyed. Shrimp will lack places to breed as they are supposed to breed in the Coral reefs.  Reduced breeding activities resulted in a reduction of the population of shrimps in the Gulf of Mexico. Coral reefs also offered a place for shrimp to hide from predators(Wilde & Skrobialowski, 2011). Therefore with the destruction of coral reefs and impediment to their growth, predators could attack shrimp at any time hence reducing their population. During oil spillage period, the growth of food for marine predators reduced hence all preys went for Shrimp. They were easily preyed on because of low growth of coral reefs.

Lastly, coral reefs are a source of foods for millions of living organisms in the Gulf of Mexico. Bp oil spill created unfavorable temperature for coral reefs hence could not meet the nutritional requirements for marine organisms. Shrimp could not get the required nutrients from coral reefs hence their breeding power reduced. Additionally, the coral reefs left in the Gulf of Mexico could not provide enough food for Shrimps hence some of them died as a result of hunger.

Therefore, the home of Shrimp which offered shelter food and a favorable ground for breeding was destroyed. Shrimp could not long survive in large numbers as they used to do. It created a situation of survival of the fittest. At the end, the population of Shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico has drastically reduced.

Authorities around the Gulf of Mexico have enacted fishing laws because they believe the overfishing is the major cause of the reduction in number of fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Due to the sweetness and more nutritious nature of Shrimp, more fishermen have invaded the Gulf of Mexico to fish Shrimp (Ward, 2017). This is one of the causes of reduction of the population of Shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico. Commercial ships are leading in terms of overfishing in the Gulf of Mexico. These ships will  camp at the sea and by the time they leave the population of Shrimp would have been depleted.

Fishermen have also been accused of fishing young and underdeveloped Shrimp. Shrimp are not allowed to mature and reproduce to replenish their population before they are fished. Commercial fishermen take all shrimps that their net finds on its way. This means the population of Shrimp will reduce. Additionally, people enjoy eating seafood especially shrimp. Due to the high demands, fishermen are forced to go on with fishing even with young fish only in the sea. At the end, the number of fish has reduced in the Gulf of Mexico due to overfishing.


BP oil spillage was the main cause of reduction in number of Shrimps in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing might come second or third in the lineup of reasons why the number of Shrimps is reducing in the Gulf of Mexico. From the above submission, it is evident that oil affects the growth and reproduction of Coral reefs.  Coral reefs are the home and source of food for shrimps. Therefore, when coral reefs are not in the sea  reproduction, safety and food for Shrimps will also lack. This will cause the reduction of the number of shrimps in the Gulf of Mexico. Therefore authorities in the Gulf of Mexico and all the other parts of the world should ensure that there are no incidences of oil spillage in seas or any water bodies. When oil spillage has been curbed then enactment of laws to restrain overfishing should be done. As a result, BP oil spillage was the main cause of reduction of Shrimps population in the Gulf of Mexico.

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  1. Brown, B., & Davis, C. (2012). Gulf coast ecosystem restoration strategy and long-term recovery plan. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  2. Ward, C. (2017). Habitats and Biota of the Gulf of Mexico: Before the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Springer.
  3. Wilde, F., & Skrobialowski, S. (2011). U.S. Geological Survey protocol for sample collection in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico, 2010. Reston, Va.: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
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