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Sidestripe Shrimp

The Sidestripe or Giant shrimp (Pandalopsis dispar) is second in size to the Spot Prawn. Slender and pinkish-orange in color, the Sidestripe shrimp is distinguished by its long antennae and the white stripes that run the length of the abdomen. Like the other six shrimp species which thrive off the coast of British Columbia, the Sidestripe shrimp exhibits protrandrous hermaphroditism in which it spends its first two years as a male before transforming into a female for the final year of its life. Mating occurs in the fall with the females carrying the eggs until they hatch in the spring. Sidestripe shrimp move vertically within the water column in order to feed on a diet of worms, diatoms, algae, detritus, algae and various invertebrates.


Fisheries and Oceans Canada manages the British Columbia Sidestripe fishery with 36 different Shrimp Management Areas (SMAs) from which the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is established annually based on the results of stock assessments which form the biological basis for these catch ceilings. If the TAC is reached during the season, the fishery is closed to ensure that it is held at a sustainable level. And while populations of the Sidestripe shrimp remain healthy, ongoing reduction of the bycatch of eulachon and other finfish remain an ongoing focus of this small trawl fishery. Bycatch has declined with the adoption of bycatch reduction strategies which include towing the conically-shaped net slowly to allow the finfish to escape while the Sidestripe shrimp gather in the broad opening at the mouth of the net, the use of mandatory Bycatch Reduction Devices, and closure of the fishery if and when bycatch levels are reached.


Harvested in the coastal inlets and fjords of British Columbia, the Sidestripe shrimp are immediately sorted and graded for size, tailed, rinsed and flash frozen at extremely low temperatures in brine-filled containers. Processing in this fashion preserves the remarkable sweet yet delicate flavor and firm texture which has established the Sidestripe shrimp as a culinary favorite.

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