Red listed: The West Coast shrimp

New warnings from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences may mean limited or a stop to fishing. 

  • The Swedish West Coast shrimp – in trouble again, as it has been placed in the “endangered species” category by Lantbruksuniversitetet.
  • Shrimp from the Swedish west coast may soon be officially red listed according to the Artdatabank (the database for species) at Lantbruksuniversitetet (the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences). The World Wide Fund recently put the Swedish shrimp on their red list, so they welcome Lantbruksuniversitetet’s decision. The species will be placed in the “endangered species” category.

  • “The statistics we have access to, show that the shrimp has decreased by 40% the last ten years. That means it meets the criteria of being red listed,” says Ulf Gärdenfors, acting head of the Artdatabanken at Lantbruksuniversitetet. The West Coast shrimp, also known as the Smögen shrimp, is not a species by itself but rather a stock of the North Atlantic shrimp. WWF recently gave it red light in its fish guide, which caused a heavy debate.
    “Something has to be done. There’s no doubt there are huge problems. The shrimp fishing in the Kattegat and Skagerrak (combined known as Västerhavet) must be better organized. The controls need to be more effective,” says Inger Näslund who is responsible for fishing issues at WWF. Some have pointed out that it is not prohibited to fish for shrimp along the West Coast, and that one therefore can ignore the advice from WWF. But that sort of reasoning is strange, to Näslund.
    “Sure, it is perfectly legal,” she says. “But at the same time it’s a fact that fishing there is not sustainable.” The Artdatabank’s listing is preliminary. Not until April 2015 will the new list be published.