Abstract Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) time of flight mass spectrometry was used to identify shrimp at the species level using commercial mass spectral fingerprint matching software (Bruker Biotyper). In the first step, a mass spectrum reference database was constructed from the analysis of six commercially important shrimp species: Litopenaeus setiferus, Farfantepenaeus aztecus, Sicyonia brevirostris, Pleoticus robustus, Pandalopsis dispar and Pandalus platyceros. This step required a desalting procedure for optimum performance. In the second step, the reference database was tested using 74 unknown shrimp samples from these six species. Correct identification was achieved for 72 of 74 samples (97%): 72 samples were identified at the species level and 2 samples were identified at the genus level using the manufacturer's log score specifications. The MALDI fingerprinting method for the identification of shrimp species was found to be reproducible and accurate with rapid analysis.