Crangon crangon

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Crangon crangon
Crangon crangon.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Caridea
Family: Crangonidae
Genus: Crangon
C. crangon
Binomial name
Crangon crangon
Synonyms   [1]
  • Astacus crangon(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Cancer crangonLinnaeus, 1758
  • Crago vulgaris(Fabricius, 1798)
  • Crangon maculatusMarcusen, 1867
  • Crangon maculosa Rathke, 1837
  • Crangon rubropunctatus Risso, 1816
  • Crangon vulgarisFabricius, 1798
  • Steiracrangon orientalis Czerniavsky, 1884

Crangon crangon is a commercially important species of caridean shrimp fished mainly in the southern North Sea, although also found in the Irish Sea, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Black Sea, as well as off much of Scandinavia and parts of Morocco's Atlantic coast. [1] Its common names include brown shrimp [2] , common shrimp, bay shrimp, and sand shrimp, while translation of its French name crevette grise (or its Dutch equivalent grijze garnaal) sometimes leads to the English version grey shrimp.



The chelae of C. crangon from below Crangon crangon (chelae).jpg
The chelae of C. crangon from below

Adults are typically 30–50 mm (1.2–2.0 in) long, although individuals up to 90 mm (3.5 in) have been recorded. [3] The animals have cryptic colouration, being a sandy brown colour, which can be changed to match the environment. [3] They live in shallow water, which can also be slightly brackish, and feed nocturnally. [3] During the day, they remain buried in the sand to escape predatory birds and fish, with only their antennae protruding.

Crangon is classified in the family Crangonidae, and shares the family's characteristic subchelate first pereiopods (where the movable finger closes onto a short projection, rather than a similarly sized fixed finger) and short rostrum. [4]

Distribution and ecology

C. crangon has a wide range, extending across the northeastern Atlantic Ocean from the White Sea in the north of Russia to the coast of Morocco, including the Baltic Sea, as well as occurring throughout the Mediterranean and Black Seas. [5] Despite its wide range, however, little gene flow occurs across certain natural barriers, such as the Strait of Gibraltar or the Bosphorus. [6] The populations in the western Mediterranean Sea are thought to be the oldest, with the species' spread across the north Atlantic thought to postdate the Pleistocene. [6]

Adults live epibenthically (on or near the sea-floor) especially in the shallow waters of estuaries or near the coast. [7] It is generally highly abundant, and has a significant effect on the ecosystems where it lives. [7]


Females reach sexual maturity at a length around 22–43 mm (0.87–1.69 in), while males are mature at 30–45 mm (1.2–1.8 in). [8] The young hatch from their eggs into planktonic larvae. These pass through five moults before reaching the postlarval stage, when they settle to the sea-floor. [8]


Global capture of C. crangon in tonnes reported by the FAO, 1950-2010 Crangon crangon wild capture series.png
Global capture of C. crangon in tonnes reported by the FAO, 1950–2010

Historically, the commercial fishery was accomplished by horse drawn beam trawls on both sides of the Dover straits. [10] In the sandy shallows of Morecambe Bay (Lancashire, UK) horses have been replaced by tractors. Some small fishing vessels also use beam trawls for brown shrimp. A few artisanal fishermen use hand-pushed nets. In all UK shrimp fisheries, the catch is first 'riddled' to release the young of shrimps and fish. The shrimps are then traditionally boiled on board before landing.

Over 37,000 t of C. crangon were caught in 1999, with Germany and the Netherlands taking over 80% of this total. [1]

The UK lands an annual average of 1000 tonnes of brown shrimp, but the catch is highly variable between 1500 and 500 tonnes. [11] In the Lancashire fishery for brown shrimp it has been shown that landings in any year are related to the annual catch, average annual air temperature (inverse) and total rainfall in the previous year. That has enabled a good prediction of annual landings one year in advance. [12] Moreover, for the port of Lytham, the abundance of shrimp (annual catch per unit effort) was found to be closely correlated with the mean annual Zurich sunspot number for the period 1965-1975. [13] Given that sunspot numbers are predictable, this provides another tool for the prediction of annual shrimp catch. Sunspot cycle No. 23 (1997-2008) is a good example of the correlation between UK annual brown shrimp catch and mean annual sunspot number. [14]

As food

A bowl of brown shrimp served as a snack Crevettes grises.jpg
A bowl of brown shrimp served as a snack

The brown shrimp enjoys great popularity in Belgium, the Netherlands, northern Germany, and Denmark.

Shrimp in general are known as garnalen in Dutch. It is the basis of the dish tomate-crevettes , where the shrimp are mixed with mayonnaise and served in a hollowed-out uncooked tomato. The shrimp croquette is another Belgian speciality; the shrimp are in the interior of the battered croquette along with béchamel sauce. Freshly cooked, unpeeled brown shrimp are often served as a snack accompanying beer, typically a sour ale or Flemish red such as Rodenbach. [15]

In Lancashire, England, the brown shrimp is mixed with butter and spices to make potted shrimps, a dish traditionally eaten with bread. [16]

Related Research Articles

Caridea Infraorder of shrimp

The Caridea, commonly known as caridean shrimp or true shrimp, are an infraorder of shrimp within the order Decapoda. This infraorder contain all species of true shrimp. They are found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Many other animals with similar names – such as ghost shrimps, mud shrimps, and boxer shrimps – are not true shrimps, but many have evolved features similar to true shrimps.


Bycatch, in the fishing industry, is a fish or other marine species that is caught unintentionally while catching certain target species and target sizes of fish, crabs etc. Bycatch is either of a different species, the wrong sex, or is undersized or juvenile individuals of the target species. The term "bycatch" is also sometimes used for untargeted catch in other forms of animal harvesting or collecting. Non-marine species that are caught but regarded as generally 'undesirable' are referred to as rough fish and coarse fish.

<i>Pandalus borealis</i> Species of crustacean (caridean shrimp)

Pandalus borealis is a species of caridean shrimp found in cold parts of the northern Atlantic and northern Pacific Oceans, although the latter population now often is regarded as a separate species, P. eous. The FAO refers to them as the northern prawn. Other common names include pink shrimp, deepwater prawn, deep-sea prawn, Nordic shrimp, great northern prawn, northern shrimp, coldwater prawn and Maine shrimp.

Turtle excluder device

A turtle excluder device or TED is a specialized device that allows a captured sea turtle to escape when caught in a fisherman's net.

Shrimp fishery

The shrimp fishery is a major global industry, with more than 3.4 million tons caught per year, chiefly in Asia. Rates of bycatch are unusually high for shrimp fishing, with the capture of sea turtles being especially contentious.

Witch (righteye flounder) Species of fish

Glyptocephalus cynoglossus, known in English by a variety of common names including the witch, witch flounder, pole flounder, craig fluke, Torbay sole and grey sole, is a species of flatfish from the family Pleuronectidae. It occurs on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean on muddy sea beds in quite deep water. In northern Europe it has some importance in fisheries as a food fish.

Shrimp scad Species of fish

The shrimp scad, is a species of widespread tropical marine fish of the jack family, Carangidae. The shrimp scad is widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical western Indian Ocean and areas of the eastern Pacific Ocean, ranging from South Africa in the west to Hawaii in the east, including Japan and Australia to the north and south. The species is commonly found on inshore reefs and sandy substrates. It has the common body profile of a scad, and may be difficult to differentiate from others in the genus Alepes. It is one of the larger scads, growing to 40 cm, but often is encountered at much smaller sizes. The shrimp scad often forms large schools, and is carnivorous, consuming a variety of crustaceans and small fish. It is of moderate importance to fisheries throughout its range.

Discards are the portion of a catch of fish which is not retained on board during commercial fishing operations and is returned, often dead or dying, to the sea. The practice of discarding is driven by economic and political factors; fish which are discarded are often unmarketable species, individuals which are below minimum landing sizes and catches of species which fishermen are not allowed to land, for instance due to quota restrictions. Discards form part of the bycatch of a fishing operation, although bycatch includes marketable species caught unintentionally. Discarding can be highly variable in time and space as a consequence of changing economic, sociological, environmental and biological factors.

This page is a list of fishing topics.

This is a glossary of terms used in fisheries, fisheries management and fisheries science.

Fishing industry in the United States

As with other countries, the 200 nautical miles (370 km) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coast of the United States gives its fishing industry special fishing rights. It covers 11.4 million square kilometres, which is the second largest zone in the world, exceeding the land area of the United States.

Fishing industry in Russia

The coastline of the Russian Federation is the fourth longest in the world after the coastlines of Canada, Greenland, and Indonesia. The Russian fishing industry has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 7.6 million km2 including access to twelve seas in three oceans, together with the landlocked Caspian Sea and more than two million rivers.

<i>Palaemon serratus</i>

Palaemon serratus, also called the common prawn, is a species of shrimp found in the Atlantic Ocean from Denmark to Mauritania, and in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.

<i>Crangon</i> Genus of crustaceans

Crangon is a genus of shrimp.

<i>Trachysalambria curvirostris</i>

Trachysalambria curvirostris is a species of prawn that lives in shallow waters of the Indo-West Pacific. It is one of the most important species targeted by prawn fishery, with annual harvests of more than 300,000 t, mostly landed in China.

Shrimp Decapod crustaceans

Shrimp are decapod crustaceans with elongated bodies and a primarily swimming mode of locomotion – most commonly Caridea and Dendrobranchiata. More narrow definitions may be restricted to Caridea, to smaller species of either group or to only the marine species. Under a broader definition, shrimp may be synonymous with prawn, covering stalk-eyed swimming crustaceans with long narrow muscular tails (abdomens), long whiskers (antennae), and slender legs. Any small crustacean which resembles a shrimp tends to be called one. They swim forward by paddling with swimmerets on the underside of their abdomens, although their escape response is typically repeated flicks with the tail driving them backwards very quickly. Crabs and lobsters have strong walking legs, whereas shrimp have thin, fragile legs which they use primarily for perching.

Prawn Common name applied to large swimming crustaceans

Prawn is a common name for small aquatic crustaceans with an exoskeleton and ten legs, some of which can be eaten.

<i>Crangon allmani</i> Species of crustacean

Crangon allmani, also spelled Crangon allmanni, is a species of shrimp in the genus Crangon. It is at home in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. Its specific name, allmani, honours the Irish natural historian George J. Allman. According to J. A. Allen, the spelling allmanni is a writing error and the correct spelling is allmani.

<i>Crangon franciscorum</i> Species of crustacean

Crangon franciscorum is a species of shrimp in the family Crangonidae which is endemic to the brackish estuaries of California, and found from Puget Sound in the north to San Diego, California in the south. The species is especially abundant in San Francisco Bay, despite population fluctuations due to environmental stresses. Its common names include bay shrimp, sand shrimp, common shrimp, grass shrimp, black shrimp, California shrimp and black tailed shrimp. The species has been commercially fished from 1869 to the present.

<i>Melicertus kerathurus</i> Species of crustacean

Melicertus kerathurus, the striped prawn or caramote prawn is a species of tiger prawn from the family Penaeidae which occurs in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea which is an important species in commercial fisheries. It is the type species for the genus Melicertus.


  1. 1 2 3 "Crangon crangon (Linnaeus, 1758)". Species Fact Sheets. Food and Agriculture Organization . Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  2. Lagardère, J. P. (1982). "Effects of noise on growth and reproduction of Crangon crangon in rearing tanks". Marine Biology. 71 (2): 177–185. doi:10.1007/BF00394627.
  3. 1 2 3 "Crangon crangon". ARKive. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  4. Joana Campos; Cláudia Moreira; Fabiana Freitas & Henk W. van der Veer (2012). "Short review of the eco-geography of Crangon". Journal of Crustacean Biology . 32 (2): 159–169. doi: 10.1163/193724011X615569 .
  5. Joana Campos; Vânia Freitas; Cindy Pedros; Rita Guillot & Henk W. van der Veer (2009). "Latitudinal variation in growth of Crangon crangon (L.): does counter-gradient growth compensation occur?". Journal of Sea Research . 62 (4): 229–237. Bibcode:2009JSR....62..229C. doi:10.1016/j.seares.2009.04.002.
  6. 1 2 Pieternella C. Luttikhuizen; Joana Campos; Judith van Bleijswijk; Katja T.C.A. Peijnenburg & Henk W. van der Veer (2008). "Phylogeography of the common shrimp, Crangon crangon (L.) across its distribution range". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution . 46 (3): 1015–1030. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.11.011. PMID   18207428.
  7. 1 2 Joana Campos; Cindy Pedrosa; Joana Rodrigues; Sílvia Santos; Johanses I. J. Witte; Paulo Santos & Henk W. van der Veer (2009). "Population zoogeography of brown shrimp Crangon crangon along its distributional range based on morphometric characters". Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom . 89 (3): 499–507. doi:10.1017/S0025315408002312.
  8. 1 2 Joana Campos & Henk W. van der Veer (2008). R. N. Gibson; R. J. A. Atkinson & J. D. M. Gordon (eds.). Autecology of Crangon crangon (L.) with an emphasis on latitudinal trends. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. 46. CRC Press. pp. 65–104. doi:10.1201/9781420065756.ch3. ISBN   978-1-4200-6575-6.
  9. Based on data sourced from the FishStat database, FAO.
  10. Charlier, Roger H (2012). "Crangon crangon, endangered or merely on a via dolorosa?" (PDF). Academy of Romanian Scientists Annals Series on Biology Sciences. 1 (1): 31–58. ISSN   2285-4177. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-14.
  11. Catchpole, T. L., Revill, A. S., Innes, J., and Pascoe, S. 2008. Evaluating the efficacy of technical measures: a case study of selection device legislation in the UK Crangon crangon (brown shrimp) fishery. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 65: 267–275.
  12. Driver, P. A. 1976. Prediction of fluctuations in the landings of Brown Shrimp (Crangon crangon) in the Lancashire and Western Sea Fisheries District. Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science (1976) 4, 567-573.
  13. Driver, P. A. 1978. The prediction of shrimp landings from sunspot activity, Marine Biology47, 359-361
  14. Ibid 10
  15. "Les crevettes grises" (in French). Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  16. Paston-Williams, Sara (2005). "Morecambe Bay shrimps". Fish: Recipes from a Busy Island. London: National Trust. p. 140. ISBN   0-7078-0357-8.