Shrimp is one of the most popular seafood that you can find.
When you eat shrimp, you are going to be getting a lower-calorie, fresh-tasting food that can be used in salads, sandwiches, and even pasta dishes.
The only real issue that people have is that shrimp is quite expensive.
As you spend more money on shrimp, you will find that it can be a bit frustrating.
The pricing never seems to decrease, and in fact, sometimes the shrimp you are purchasing seem to be even smaller.
Overall, there are some great things about shrimp, but the price point can turn people away.
If you are wondering what it is that makes shrimp so expensive, we have all the answers you will need.
Here are ten reasons shrimp is so expensive.
Why Is Shrimp So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
To start, it’s important to understand that some shrimp is farmed, and some are caught in the wild.
If your shrimp is farmed, then there will not be too much of a seasonal aspect to the shrimp.
However, if your shrimp is wild-caught, there will be seasons for this shrimp.
During certain times of the year because of weather and because of fishing regulations, there may be no shrimp boats heading out to catch fresh seafood.
This is unfortunate and it is difficult for the shrimpers, but it is all part of the business.
In order to keep the shrimp population where it needs to be and ensure that the shrimp population has time to rejuvenate, there are limits put on the shrimping season.
This means that, outside of the shrimping season, in some areas, there will be no tolerance for shrimping of any kind.
This is of course a difficult thing to manage when it comes to supply.
Therefore, the supply and demand factor comes into play, and it will affect the pricing of the shrimp that we purchase.
You will notice that the pricing increases during those off-season months when shrimp will have needed to be frozen.
In addition, you may also have a hard time finding shrimp that is not farm-raised when it is no longer shrimping season.
Just be sure to keep in mind that shrimping is something that is going to be impacted by the season.
There are regulations in any food industry.
Whether you are purchasing fruit, meat, or seafood, there are regulations in place to help try and keep people safe.
These regulations are there to protect, but the processes that they involve and the steps that they require are going to add to the cost of the shrimp.
Overall, the regulations for the shrimping industry are not only going to impact the final shrimp product, but they also impact the shrimping process.
If you are trying to catch shrimp, you are going to need to be aware of the regulations that are in place.
Most boats have to pay for very expensive licenses, and they have to stay well aware of where they can and can’t take their shrimp boat.
In other words, they are not going to be able to go just anywhere and take any shrimp.
These regulations are also going to come into play when it comes to managing the shrimp and keeping track of how it is handled and how it is stored.
You won’t be able to simply dump shrimp in a box and then bring it to the grocery store or fish market.
There are usually very specific requirements about how it is handled and what you will need to do in order to keep the shrimp safe to eat.
These regulations are helpful, but in the end, they raise the overall pricing of the shrimp.
Should that change in the future, you may see some lower pricing for shrimp, but overall, that is going to be tough for the time being.
If anything, it is probably more likely that the number of regulations will increase.
As fuel prices go up, you may start to see the price of shrimp go up.
In fact, you will likely see the price of most things go up as fuel prices increase.
This has everything to do with the fact that so much of our lives are impacted by fuel.
When it comes to shrimp, the big impacts that you are going to see come from the fuel used in the shrimp boats and the fuel used to transport shrimp from one location to another.
If you have seen a shrimp boat, you can tell that they are rather large.
There are big nets that float in the water as the boat pulls them along and shrimp are brought in.
Those nets are usually equipped with power to make it easier to pull them in when they are loaded down with hundreds of pounds of shrimp.
Therefore, running the shrimp boats out to the locations where shrimping is accessible and then keeping the boat running while shrimp is collected will cost.
This process is time-consuming, and it requires quite a bit of fuel.
As long as shrimpers need to cover the cost of their fuel, you can expect to pay quite a bit more money for the shrimp that you are eating.
Overall fuel costs are also going to come into play when fuel is used to deliver shrimp.
After all, it must come off the boats, be loaded into trucks, and then sent to local restaurants and grocery stores.
This process, again, involves more fuel and more moving of products.
When shrimp are piled together in large quantities, it is also quite heavy.
This increases shipping weight and requires a larger fuel investment as well.
If you want to go down to a dock, find a shrimp yourself, and eat it, you will get a great deal!
4. Ship Maintenance
Not only do shrimpers have to worry about paying for fuel, but they also must pay for the maintenance of their shrimp boat.
The maintenance is expensive, and the labor is expensive.
Shrimp boats get pretty beat up.
With the workers trying to complete their jobs fast and the fact that the sea can often get a bit rough, it is difficult to keep a shrimp boat properly maintained.
One of the things you pay for when you purchase shrimp is the ability for the shrimper to stay in business and keep his shrimp boat and assets functioning properly.
Many of the boats that you see shrimpers using are going to be older and kind of beat up.
This just shows you how slim the margins are in the shrimping industry, and this is the only way many of these people are making a living.
Of course, some of the farm-raised shrimp can probably lower some of their costs because of the lack of ship maintenance, but this is not always the case.
There are additional costs involved in farm raising shrimp, and those costs need to be factored in as well.
The entire business of farming or harvesting shrimp is quite involved and brings up many extra costs that most people wouldn’t expect.
In fact, this is the case for most seafood found on the market.
You can’t really expect that the food is going to simply swim to your shelves.
Try to consider all that goes into the process so that you can get the most out of the food that you are purchasing.
In addition, this will help you understand and justify the pricing that you pay.
5. Difficult Work
It is difficult work to farm and harvest shrimp.
Anytime you are talking about taking a living thing and trying to catch it in its natural environment, you will likely have to deal with quite a difficult process.
Catching shrimp and getting it to the point of being ready for sale in a grocery store is a lengthy and involved process.
This difficult work has to be funded somehow, and that is done by the price that you pay for your shrimp.
Let’s think about what it would take for you to go and start collecting your own shrimp for your next barbeque.
Chances are unless you are living on the water and have all the proper equipment, you are not going to be able to get this done.
Therefore, the process of getting shrimp to your table is an expensive one.
Those who can’t do this are willing to pay others to do this for them, and it makes it a convenience issue.
Shrimp is expensive because you don’t have to do the work, yet you can get great shrimp delivered to your grocery store relatively fresh for you to eat.
If you spent a day on a shrimping boat, you would quickly see why it is priced as high as it is.
6. Time Consuming
For shrimp that is freshly caught, there is quite a bit of a time commitment involved in the process.
Shrimp boats need to go out and find the shrimp before they can simply start catching it.
The tides, the weather, the season, the temperature, and even the current can all impact where the shrimp will be.
Most boat owners will have their spots where they know they can almost always get shrimp.
However, there are times when the shrimp will be much harder to find.
This is stressful and results in fewer shrimp and therefore higher prices.
In order to even take the boat out and pay the people who work on the ship, a certain amount has to be made each day.
If shrimpers are having a hard time making this amount, they will very likely increase the pricing of shrimp.
You will find that the more abundant shrimp are, the better the chances of finding them for a lower price.
Once the shrimper finds shrimp to harvest, they need to get them properly stored and brought to a fish market or distributor.
This entire process takes some time and work to keep the shrimp from getting warm or spoiling.
In addition, there are times when shrimp are sold, cleaned, and frozen as well.
Think about how much more time is put in to get the shrimp to this point and why the pricing is so high.
Overall, the time-consuming factor typically means more labor is involved.
Labor costs are probably one of the biggest reasons for the high price of any product.
7. Early Mortality Rates Of Shrimp
Shrimp don’t often live very long.
Although this may not seem like a problem since people are just trying to eat them anyway, it also means that they do not get very big.
Therefore, when you see shrimp that are large or jumbo, chances are it was much more difficult to get the shrimp to those ages.
The pricing goes up because the shrimp are dying at a younger age.
The early mortality rates of shrimp seem to be a major issue when you look at the farm-raised shrimp.
The farm-raised shrimp, because of the way the process is managed, tend to struggle to live a very long time.
Therefore, many of the shrimp that you are getting is going to be smaller, and yet they still cost quite a bit of money.
This is a continuing problem and one that causes a significant shortage in the larger shrimp available for people.
If you see jumbo shrimp for sale in your store, don’t be surprised if they are quite a bit more expensive.
It seems to take a lot of work to keep a shrimp alive long enough for it to qualify as a jumbo or extra-large shrimp.
8. Seafood Goes Bad Quickly
If you have ever had bad seafood, chances are you cannot get the taste out of your mind.
One of the worst tastes out there is something from the sea that has spoiled.
If the smell doesn’t gross you out, you will have a hard time getting past the taste as well.
The problem with seafood and one of the reasons that it is so expensive are that it spoils very quickly.
Left for even just a few minutes at times, the seafood can spoil, and bacteria can start to grow.
Not only is this kind of gross, but it is also sometimes dangerous for humans.
This means that when shrimp are harvested and farmed, the process used to keep the shrimp fresh is going to be very difficult.
There is an option for frozen seafood in the store because this can be a bit easier to keep the food fresh.
However, some people will tell you that frozen shrimp does not have the same taste.
For the fresh raw shrimp, you can expect that the pricing is going to be quite a bit higher because of the logistics involved in getting it to where it needs to be before it spoils.
This process was difficult and very likely required quite a bit of preparation and careful steps to keep the seafood cold along the way.
Don’t let your shrimp get warm, or it will not be a good thing for you to eat.
People went through a lot of work to get you your shrimp while it is still fresh, so the least you can do is make sure you eat it before it goes bad.
After all, this is what you pay for.
Shrimp can get diseases.
When a shrimp gets a disease, it can spread to the other shrimp.
As the disease gets passed around, it can get more challenging to control, and the population will start to be impacted.
Disease in shrimp is not a good thing, and it is going to impact the overall supply.
This is where you will find that even though the supply of shrimp is already limited, it gets even worse with diseased shrimp entering into the picture.
The diseases tend to happen more often with shrimp farms.
This is the kind of thing that is looked out for and tested for, yet it can still happen.
The results are sometimes years and years of lower shrimp population and more significant problems.
Overall, shrimp tend to be a bit susceptible to these diseases, and that does not make things any easier.
Over time, they will learn to build up tolerances, but overall, you can’t really call shrimp one of the stronger or more durable species.
It takes quite a bit of work and scientific research to keep the diseases away from shrimp.
In the end, this is what will lead you to spend quite a bit more money on your next pack of shrimp from the grocery store.
Last but certainly not least is the location.
If you live close to the sea, you are going to find that it is much easier to find shrimp.
In addition, the shrimp that you find will be priced quite a bit lower.
Shrimp appears in the coastal regions much more frequently, and the taste of the shrimp is going to be a bit more natural as well.
Overall, you will find that the further inland you move, the harder it is to find great-tasting shrimp.
Take, for example, those who live in the central states in the US.
These states are known for having great meat and meat pricing, but when it comes to seafood, things can get tricky.
If there is shrimp available, it is likely going to be frozen and maybe not all that fresh testing.
If you find that you are a big lover of seafood and you consume it often, it may make sense to move to a more coastal region of the country.
Chances are the seafood will taste better and be a bit easier on the wallet.
The next time you are questioning why the seafood in your local store is rather expensive, try to consider the journey that it took to get there.
If it was a quick and easy trip, expect some lower pricing.
For the longer journeys, the price will be quite a bit higher.
Hopefully, you now feel as though you can understand why shrimp is so expensive.
Certainly, there are some things about where you live and the type of shrimp that you purchase that are going to impact this pricing.
In the end, it is essential to remember that for great, fresh-tasting food, the pricing is likely going to be higher than you expect.
The more money you pay now, the better you will enjoy the fresh taste of the food.
If shrimp is something that you really enjoy, try to move a bit closer to the sea, and chances are you will find that the pricing is lower, and the availability is much better as well.