St. Lawrence species

Northern shrimp

Pandalus borealis

Type of resource

  • Seafood
  • Seafood - crustaceans

Status of the resource

  • Vulnérable

In season

Fresh from spring to autumn.

SIZE : 12 cm for the male and 16.5 cm for the female.

LIFE EXPECTANCY : Up to 8 years.

LIFE CYCLE : Sexual maturity during the second year of life.

Northern shrimp change sex as they age. At birth, all shrimp are male. Individuals change sex around the age of 4 years, at which time they develop reproductive organs to carry eggs.

Reproduction takes place from July to October. Female shrimp lay an average of 2,000 eggs, which they keep under their abdomen for the incubation period. They store the male’s sperm in a special structure. The following year, from March to May, they lay their eggs also releasing the sperm that had been stored until then. The eggs hatch 6 to 10 months later, in spring or summer.

Credit : Robert Baronet, photo taken in Exploramer's aquariums in 2014.

The northern shrimp’s body is pink to bright red. Most often, its internal organs are visible through its transparent body.

It has spines all over its body. Its shell is rigid. Its long narrow head seems to point upwards. It has 2 large eyes and 2 long antennae. The northern shrimp has 10 slender legs: 6 for moving and 4 for feeding.

On the bottom, usually between 50 m and 500 m deep, but can reach depths of up to 1,450 m.

Northern shrimp live on sandy and muddy bottoms. They like cold water, ideally at a temperature of 2 ° C to 6 ° C.



Small invertebrates




Deepwater redfish



Marine mammals


MACHINES : Chalut avec grille Nordmøre.


  • Specified fishing season
  • Quotas
  • Regulations on fishing gear

The northern shrimp population had exploded following the collapse of bottom fish stocks, its predators. However, northern shrimp stocks have also been collapsing for several years. In 2024, shrimp fishing was almost shut down. Since then, small quotas have been allocated, and the situation remains closely monitored. Among the causes of this collapse: warming waters and the return in force of one of its predators, the deepwater redfish.

A deregulated clock

A study has shown that northern shrimp egg hatching, which depends on water temperature, occurs just after the spring increase in phytoplankton, its food supply. As a result, the northern shrimp has adapted its life cycle to its environment, giving itself the best chances for survival. A feat achieved over thousands of years. However, a change in the environment, such as an increase in water temperature, could disrupt this synchronization and thus compromise the chances of survival of the larvae and the species.

BENEFITS Northern shrimp is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin B12.

LET’S COOK Soft, melting texture. Delicious meat with a delicate, sweet taste.

Northern shrimp are always sold cooked, whether whole or shelled.

They are perfect for salads and appetizers; for example, in the pitted half of an avocado, with or without eggs and mayonnaise.


  • In cooked dishes, add the shrimp at the end of cooking.
  • Since it is sold cooked, do not re-cook the shrimp, but only reheat it. Otherwise, it will lose its flavor and have a rubbery texture.