Alabama commercial fishermen land a variety of seafood including shrimp, blue crabs, oysters, red snapper, vermillion snapper, Spanish mackerel, flounder, menhaden, mullet, and sharks.
The port of Bayou La Batre, is the most important fishing port for Alabama. Known as the “Seafood Capital of Alabama”, the port city receives $30 million annually in seafood landings. Bon Secour of Gulf Shores is another important port for seafood.
Seafood processing is a major industry in Alabama. In addition to processing seafood landed in the state, Alabama-based companies process seafood other states.
Alabama’s commercial fishing and seafood processing industries were hard hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On May 24, 2010, U.S. officials declared a fishery disaster in the Gulf of Mexico due to the economic impact on commercial and recreational fisheries from the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The affected area included the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Despite both disasters, some commercial fisheries have recovered.
The Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources manages commercial fisheries in state-owned waters. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) manages fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico’s Exclusive Economic Zone ( EEZ).