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Georgia Extends Shrimp Season

GEORGIA - A below-average season has prompted Georgia officials to extend for another month the harvest of food shrimp.

The food shrimping season will continue until Jan. 31, Commissioner Noel Holcomb of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday. The season had been scheduled to end Monday.

The extension will affect commercial shrimpers who trawl Georgia's territorial waters up to three miles offshore. It also affects castnetters and people who use beach seines inshore, he said.

The extension came at the recommendation of department biologists in consensus with shrimpers and industry officials on the department's Shrimp Advisory Panel.

The natural resources department has extended the season annually since 1978, except for 1983, 1989 and 2000, when severe cold weather caused the water temperature to drop to lethal levels for white shrimp.

State law allows the department to use emergency authority to end the extension if the weather turns cold or if other factors threaten the shrimp.