vessels are those that have possessed a valid permit at some point during this time period (i.e. of the 2,951 vessels that have been permitted, 554 were not active in the fishery).
Total food shrimp landings and revenues were 145.24 MP (tails) and $376.19 million, respectively. Those landings and revenues can be broken down further into the following general categories: landings and revenues to permitted vessels, to non-permitted vessels, to large as opposed to small vessels,10 and to unknown vessels. It is important to remember that “known” vessels includes all permitted vessels (active and inactive) and all active, non-permitted vessels. This breakdown and related statistics are presented in Tables 5.1 and 5.2.
Small vessels are more numerous than large vessels within the fishery as a whole and within the universe of non-permitted vessels. However, as would be expected, large vessels predominate the universe of permitted vessels. Large vessels also account for a much higher percentage of landings and revenues than their smaller counterparts within the fishery as a whole (i.e. they account for 78.6% of revenues to known vessels in the fishery), and even more so within the universe of permitted vessels. Conversely, because of their dominant numbers within the non-permitted universe (i.e. they outnumber large vessels nearly 20 to 1), small vessels account for a much higher percentage of landings and revenues within that particular group.
With respect to comparisons between the total and permitted universes, for large vessels, the data are very similar with respect to average landings and revenues. This finding is expected since it is difficult to imagine that many large vessels could survive economically without ever operating in the EEZ, and thus most would need a federal permit. This expectation is reflected by the relatively small level of food shrimp landings by large non-permitted vessels. Conversely, small permitted vessels attain much higher levels of food shrimp landings and revenues on average relative to all small vessels. This finding reflects the fact that small permitted vessels, who are more “serious” than their non-permitted small vessel counterparts (i.e. they spend more time operating in the Gulf food shrimp fishery), represent a much smaller percentage of the small vessel universe relative to the proportion that large permitted vessels represent within the large vessel universe.
A few more observations about the non-permitted vessels are worthy of noting before switching focus to the permitted vessels. Specifically, there is a much wider range of landings and revenues within that group than what would be expected, given the federal permit requirement in EEZ waters. Landings ranged from 4 pounds to over 152,000 pounds and revenues from $9 to nearly $384,000 in 2002. Breaking down the gross revenues for these vessels into reasonable groupings, of the 5,086 non-permitted vessels, the vast majority (3,364) grossed less than $10,000 in food shrimp revenues in 2002. Another 1,392 vessels had gross revenues between $10,000 and $50,000. And 256 vessels had gross revenues between $50,000 and $100,000. These revenue levels are to be expected for vessels that do not operate in EEZ waters and would thus not need to have a permit. However, 45 non-permitted vessels had revenues between $100,000 and $150,000, 22 vessels had revenues between $150,000 and $200,000, and another 7 vessels exceeded $200,000. It is questionable whether these vessels, particularly the top 29 vessels, could achieve such levels of revenue generation without ever venturing into federal
10Large vessels are those greater than or equal to 60 feet in length, while small vessels are less than 60 feet.