This study describes the structure, growth, mortality and stock status of Litopenaeus schmitti in north-eastern Brazil. A total of 1169 specimens were captured (491 males and 678 females) from August 2011 to July 2012. Specimens were weighed and the length of carapace (CL) and total length were measured. The biometric relationships were estimated through regression analysis and growth was described through the von Bertalanffy model. Additionally, total mortality (Z), natural mortality (M), fishing mortality (F), length at first capture (Lc), maximum yield per recruit (ERMY) and longevity were determined. Females were larger (3.07 ± 0.51 cm) than males (2.68 ± 0.25 cm) and dominant in the largest CL classes. The biometric relationships for males, females and both sexes grouped showed a negative allometric growth. Females showed larger L∞ (asymptotic length) and k (coefficient of growth) (L∞ of 5.00–5.16 cm and k of 1.20–1.26 year−1) when compared with males (L∞ of 4.25–4.30 cm and k of 1.00–1.02 year−1). In general, the mortality of males (Z = 1.93–5.48 year−1; M = 1.59–1.61 year−1 F = 0.32–0.3.89 year−1) and longevity (1.11–2.16 years) were higher than those estimated for females (Z = 1.84–3.76 year−1; M = 1.70–1.77 year−1; F = 0.07–1.99 year−1; 1.07–1.78 years). Results indicated that L. schmitti stock is relatively close to the state of full exploitation. Moreover, the CL of first capture of females (2.44–2.51 cm) is below the length of first sexual maturation of the species. The lack of legislation governing shrimp fishing in the area makes this stock even more vulnerable.