Grey shrimp is 'Fish of the Year 2022'

The Flemish Centre for Agro- and Fishery Marketing (VLAM) has chosen the grey shrimp as 'Fish of the Year 2022'. The fish of the year, which this year is actually a crustacean, was presented and tasted on Monday in Nieuwpoort.

Every year, the fish of the year is chosen. In this election, extra attention is paid to a local fish species. Last year, the stingray won the prize. This year, in Nieuwpoort, Flemish Minister of Fisheries Hilde Crevits announced the grey shrimp as the winner. "The grey shrimp is an absolute delicacy and is a culinary highlight in our kitchens and catering outlets. VLAM is ready with various actions to bring the shrimp to the attention", says Minister Crevits.


Due to the high production costs and the imbalance between supply and demand in 2020 and 2021, only a handful of vessels have focused on shrimp fishing. Thus, the number of tonnes of shrimp caught fell from 517 in 2019 to 307 in 2020 and 369 in 2021. In 2020, the price of a kilo of shrimp was 5.04 euros. In 2019, it was only 3.45 euros on average, because the landings were higher then. "I hope that the campaign around 'Fish of the Year' will boost the consumption of the grey shrimp, so that our coastal fishermen can sail out profitably in the coming months," says deputy director of the Centre for Shipping Sander Meyns.

The Belgian grey shrimp fishery does not have a negative impact on the stock of the crustacean. Therefore, the Institute for Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Research ILVO has given a positive advice to elect this fish as "Fish of the Year 2022".

Atlantic Ocean

The habitat of the grey shrimp extends across the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean. Still, shrimping is mainly a coastal fishery. The largest part of the catch is caught in the coastal areas of the North Sea, off the coast of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The grey shrimp are at their best in the period between August and November.

Shrimp ships under the Belgian flag annually catch between 600 and 1,200 tonnes of grey shrimp. The shrimp are immediately cooked in seawater on board and then taken to the fish auction or to processing plants. About thirty vessels of the Belgian fleet are equipped for shrimp fishery.



© ARTERRA- Shrimper on draught horse (Equus caballus) with dragnet fishing for shrimps along the North Sea coast, Oostduinkerke, Belgium


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