While prawns are perfect on a bright sunny day, catching them means working through the night. Prawn fishermen must work with nature, fishing in sync with the moon, the tide and thinking like the prawn in order to catch the prawn.
There are 15 major prawn fisheries around Australia. Many fishers are family businesses, and many families have been fishers for generations. Other fisheries are highly organised vertically integrated businesses employing the latest technology in their fleets. Prawns are caught all around Australia, but aren’t fished in any large scale in Victoria and Tasmania.
Prawn farms are found in the northern parts of Australia, mainly in Queensland.
The warmer waters enable the prawn to grow more rapidly and allow year round production. The main species of prawns farmed are black tiger prawns and banana prawns.
On average, 25,000 tonnes of Australian prawns are produced annually, 21,000 tons are wild caught from the ocean and about 4,000 tonnes are produced by Australia’s prawn farms.
Prawn farming requires enormous investment and prawn farms are subject to very strict environmental controls. Farms help even out the peaks and troughs of prawn production.
For more information on prawn farming in Australia, visit www.apfa.com.au
Did you know?
The prawn catch is limited by what the scientists deem is sustainable and adjust their quotas accordingly. On average that equates to 24 Australian prawns per person per year. Did you get yours?