Mexico's shrimping fleet will haul in more than 11,000 tons of the crustaceans during the fishing season that starts on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, the Environment Secretariat said.

This size catch "allows sufficient availability of the species to meet demand from the domestic and export markets," the secretariat said.

Fishing season will run until April 30, 2012, on the high seas and until late May in the so-called lagoon systems, the secretariat said.

Studies conducted by officials in the Gulf states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz found that 80 percent of the shrimp in the area have "the adequate size for harvesting," the secretariat said.

Fishing season creates more than 1,500 jobs in Mexico, where 270 boats equipped with turtle excluder devices, or TEDs, operate, the Environment Secretariat said.

The United States announced a ban on imports of Mexican wild shrimp in March 2010 because fishing boats lacked the equipment to protect sea turtles.

The restrictions applied to shrimp caught using mechanical dragnets and not to those raised on farms, which account for about 80 percent of Mexico's production.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, team confirmed last October that Mexico had taken the necessary measures to protect sea turtles.

Mexican officials have been declaring a closed season on shrimp since 1993 to allow the crustaceans to reproduce and develop, with the National Aquaculture and Fishing Commission, or Conapesca, and the Navy Secretariat in charge of enforcement.

The northeast Gulf of Mexico is the center of fishing for brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), a species "that is in high demand on the domestic and international markets," the secretariat said.