Tiger prawn season kicks off in Australia

Published on
August 3, 2021

Australia's northern prawn fishery tiger prawn season opened on Sunday, 1 August, with 52 trawlers and crews already setting sail to catch tiger prawns.

The country's tiger prawn fishing season runs from August to the end of November.

According to the Australian Fishery Management Authority (AFMA), tiger prawn season is one of the key contributors to the prawn fishery's position as one of Australia's most-valuable, with an estimated value of AUD 120 million (USD 81 million, EUR 68.2 million) in 2018-2019.

AFMA CEO Wez Norris said sustainable co-management of the fishery between AFMA and the Northern Prawn Fishery Industry (NPFI) and ensures consumers  have access to tiger prawns.

“NPFI continues to demonstrate responsible stewardship in the [fishery]. Industry-led initiatives, such as industry developed bycatch reduction devices has significantly reduced the fishery’s environmental impacts,” Norris said. “Limits on daylight trawling reduces the catch of egg-bearing female tiger prawns, ensuring that prawn stocks will be around for generations of seafood-lovers.” 

NPFI CEO Annie Jarrett said “world-class management” is key to the prawn fishery's retention of its Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of sustainability.

“We are committed to working closely with government regulators and scientists to ensure the NPF is responsibly and sustainably managed, now and into the future,” Jarrett said in a statement. 

The northern prawn fishery produces between 5,000 and 8,000 metric tons of banana, tiger, and endeavor prawns each year. Tiger prawns can grow up to 30 centimeters and are a favorite with high-end hotels and restaurants. 

The redleg banana prawn sub-fishery in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf also reopened on 1 August, following a closure during the banana prawn season, which was open from late March to mid-June.

The northern prawn fishery covers approximately 770,000 square kilometers from Cape York in Queensland to Cape Londonderry in Kimberley, and its major landing ports are Cairns, Darwin, and Karumba.   

Photo courtesy of yongtick/Shutterstock

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