Alaskan Pink Shrimp

The Cold-water Shrimp, Pandalus borealis (sometimes called Pandalus eous) is a species of shrimp native in cold waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. There are numerous English names including Deep-water Shrimp, Cold-water Shrimp, Northern Shrimp, Pink Shrimp, Northern Red Shrimp and Greenland Prawn (UK). Although the word shrimp is commonly replaced by the word prawn, this is an incorrect exchange in word.

In the Atlantic Ocean, it is distributed from New England, Canada’s eastern seaboard, southern and eastern Greenland, Iceland Svalbard, Norway and the North Sea as far south as the English Channel. In the Pacific Ocean, it scatters from Japan, through the Sea of Okhotsk, across the Bering Strait, and as far south in North America as Washington state. As long as waters are between 36°F and 57°F, the shrimp can thrive. It lives at depths of 33 to 1,600 feet, typically on muddy bottoms.

The shrimp live 3 to 4 years, and reach lengths of about 4.5 inches total, but the carapace alone is only 1.4 inches long.

The shrimp are hermaphroditic, meaning they are born as male, but a year or two later, they become female when their testicles transform into ovaries. However, if females are dominating a population, the males will postpone their transformation. The same applies should there be a demand for females, the male shrimp will begin transformation earlier, so that procreation can continue in a balanced population of shrimp.

Norway led the way for commercial fishing of shrimp in the early 1900’s. Later, with the help of Johan Hjort’s practical discoveries on how to locate the shrimp, other countries followed the guide to produce enormous amounts of shrimp for human consumption.

The shrimp produce an enzyme useful in molecular biology called shrimp alkaline phosphatase (SAP).