We studied the long term effects of two environmental variables, salinity and surface temperature, on the pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum) population in the southern Gulf of Mexico, considering the relationship between recruiting and the concurrent shrimp stock depletion of the last two decades. Our data were collected from 1969 to 1991. Recruitment has been clearly declining, particularly in the 1970s, with an accentuated drop since the 1980s. Sea surface temperatures have steadily risen, particularly since 1972. The temperature difference between the mid 1970s and the late 1980s is 0.5 °C. Salinity decreased throughout the period. From a long term perspective, recruitment is negatively correlated with temperature and positively correlated with salinity. The effects of temperature and salinity are statistically significant, explaining 52 % and 55 % of the variation in recruitment, respectively.