Species / Common Name
Although there are thousands of species of shrimp worldwide, only about 20 of these species are commercially significant. The top 4 are listed here,
with their common names in order
of most harvested.
Shrimp are considered to be widespread and abundant. They can be found feeding near the seafloor on most coasts and estuaries, as well as in rivers and lakes. There are thousands of species of shrimp, and usually there is a species adapted to most habitats.
They play important roles in the food chain and are important food sources for larger animals from fish to whales.
While there is no precise method typically used for shrimp sizing, count per pound is the most common method used.
For instance you get
about 60 small shrimp in a pound of shrimp.
About 50 medium shrimp per pound and
about 40 large shrimp per pound.
A pound of jumbo shrimp will have about 30 shrimp.
Shrimp and other shellfish are among the most common food allergens. They are not kosher and thus are forbidden in Jewish cuisine. Shrimp are halal for many but not all muslims.
Shrimp are described as stalk-eyed swimming decopod crustaceans with long narrow muscular abdomens, slender legs and long antennae.
The terms shrimp and prawn are common names, not scientific ones, and often any small swimming crustacean resembling a shrimp tends to be called one, and though larger shrimp are often referred to as prawns there is no clear distinction between the terms. The terms are often confused or even reversed in different countries and regions.
Unlike crabs and lobsters, shrimp swim forwards by paddling with swimmerets on the underside of their abdomens. Crabs and lobsters have strong walking legs, whereas shrimp have thin fragile legs which they use primarily for perching.
Shrimp are widely caught and farmed
for us to enjoy.
Commercial shrimp species support an industry worth 50 billion dollars a year, and in 2010 the total commercial production of shrimp was nearly 7 million tonnes.