Sidestripe shrimp are second only to prawns in terms of size, reaching up to 21 cm (8 inches) in length. They have distinctive long antennules and stripes along their abdomen after which they are named. They are bottom-dwellers prerferring muddy soft habitat. They range from northern Oregon to the Bering Sea in Alaska.
Turning bright pink when cooked, sidestripe shrimp are prized for their distinctive sweet flavour and firm texture. They are considered nature’s “fast food’: cooking only takes one to two minutes or you can eat them raw, a popular dish in Japan.
Sidestripe shrimp usually live for about four years, starting their lives as males and maturing at two years of age. They grow quickly in their first two years and are hermaphrodites: after one or two spawning seasons the males change gender becoming females in their final year of life. These shrimp typically reproduce in the fall with eggs hatching in the spring. Their larva are very small and free-swimming. Juvenile shrimp feed on plankton, grow quickly and frequently shed their shells through molting. As they grow, they sink to the seafloor which is their adult habitat.
This fishery uses a large cone-shaped net that is dragged along the seafloor to catch shrimp. Vessels use a long pole or "beam" to keep the net open, although some larger vessels in this fishery use an "otter" trawl.