Mississippi, Gulf of Mexico and United States commercial red drum fishing

Commercial finfishing corresponds to economic sector 114111 in the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). Finfishing comprises establishments primarily engaged in the commercial catching or taking of finfish (e.g., bluefish, salmon, trout, tuna) from their natural habitat.

According to Gulf FINFO, red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) are also known as “channel bass, redfish, reds, spottail bass." The commercial harvest and sale of red drum is prohibited in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida state waters and Gulf federal waters. As a result, Mississippi accounts for all commercial red drum landings in the Gulf.

About 31,528 pounds of red drum were landed each year from Jan. 2000 to Dec. 2015. Since 2000, Mississippi supplied 19 percent of total domestic landings, while 78 percent are landed from North Carolina. There is clearly a huge shortage of supply of wild-caught red drum to satisfy local demand. As stated in Gulf FINFO website, “most red drum which are currently available in the local market is farmed, primarily from Texas, or imported from Latin America.” 

The annual red drum commercial landings (in pounds) and landing values (in dollars at current prices) from 2000 to present are shown in figures below.

Source of raw data: NOAA Fisheries.

Posadas, Benedict C. Commercial Red Drum Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico Region. Mississippi MarketMaker Newsletter, Vol. 7, No. 3, Feb. 7, 2017.