Alaska's glacier-fed waters are home to 5 different types of shrimp.
Spot prawns or "spots" as they are locally known, are the largest shrimp in Alaska, and most sought-after. Spots have a pure, sweet flavor, and firm "meaty" texture. Spot prawns are characterized by 4 bright-white spots on their tails, which are believed to confuse predators. Spots are caught using shrimp pots.
Sidestripe shrimp are generally considered to have the sweetest flavor of all Alaska shrimp, and a very delicate texture. Interestingly, sidestripes are a vegetarian shrimp. They are caught using trawlers.
Coonstripe shrimp are one of the "best-kept-secrets" of Alaska seafood. Coonstripes are sweet, firm, and bursting-with-flavor. They are also quite hard to come by. Unlike other types of Alaska shrimp, coonstripes have eggs that are a striking blue-turquoise color. Coonstripes are caught using shrimp pots.
Northern pink shrimp are not just native to Alaskan waters; they can also be found in cold parts of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. Pink shrimp fisheries have existed for many years, and pink shrimp have been an important food source for humans for many years. Northern pink shrimp are typically sold cooked, peeled & frozen. Pink shrimp are caught in a trawl-based fishery.
Humpy shrimp are the smallest of Alaska's shrimp. They are typically caught as bycatch (incidental catch) to targeted pink shrimp fishing. They are typically sold as 'cocktail' or 'salad shrimp' meat.
Like most cold water shrimp, Alaska shrimp are both sweet, and very clean & pure. They do not need to be deveined - which helps to make them easy-to-prepare.