DV-14-05 Assessing the diversity, distribution, and abundance of new shrimp invasions in the Northeast United States

James T. Carlton
The Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport
75 Greenmanville Ave
Mystic, CT 06355
860.572.5359


Since 2001, three new species of invasive shrimp (one from Asia and two from Europe) have appeared and spread along the U.S. East Coast. A fourth species in the same genus (Palaemon) with no previous records north of Florida was detected in Woods Hole in the summer of 2013. The Asian and European species are the basis of food or bait fisheries in their homelands and all are important in fish diets. The extent to which these species compete with or displace three species of native Palaemonete shrimp remains unknown, as is the relative abundance of exotics to natives.

Carlton coordinated an investigation from Maine to New York of invasive shrimp by means of a coast-wide uniform quantitative sampling strategy in the summer of 2014. The objectives were to establish a critical baseline of the distribution and expanding ranges of these shrimp, to quantify abundances of non-native and native species, to determine if any additional shrimp invasions have occurred, and to secure multiple widespread samples for genetic analyses. Target sampling sites are marina and yacht harbor pontoon systems, with additional habitat sampling (such as adjacent rocky shores) as time and opportunity permit. Extensive photo-documentation of live shrimp will provide resource materials of native and invasive shrimp species for education, outreach and extension programs.

Sea Grant funds: $793