About Australian Prawns
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.
Australia is blessed with stunning, productive and sustainable fisheries – from the warm tropical waters of the Northern Prawn Fishery where spotter planes guide trawlers to enormous surface “boils” of banana prawns in a season lasting 8 weeks to the Spencer Gulf in South Australia, where intrepid crews brave the frigid roaring forties in search of the Western King. The turquoise waters of Shark Bay and Exmouth Gulf in WA serve up a delightful combination of kings, tigers and endeavours and all these fisheries are certified to the international
gold standard of sustainability by the Marine Stewardship Council.
You’ll find many active wild fisheries and most of Australia’s prawn farms in Queensland.
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 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?
Frequently Asked Questions.
Can you refreeze thawed prawns?
It’s not a good idea. The quality deteriorates significantly if you thaw, refreeze and thaw again. Freezing prawns successfully requires commercial snap freezers that reduce the temperature very quickly to stop ice crystals forming.
Are prawns suited to a keto diet.
Absolutely – prawns are very keto friendly. Carb free and packed with more protein the lean beef, pork, or chicken. They also contain high amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Iron deficiency is very common in Australia, especially amongst women and eating prawns help keep iron levels up.
Are prawns good for weight loss?
Swapping prawns for lamb, beef or chicken as the main protein component of a meal is an easy way to lose weight because prawns have no carbs and far less fat. You only need 4 or 5 medium sized prawns per serve as the main protein component of a meal. So prawns end up much cheaper per serve than beef or lamb. Think about the price per serve, not per kilo.
Do Australian Prawns contain antibiotics?
Absolutely not. Antibiotic use in prawn farms is banned in Australia and wild caught Australian prawns do not contain any either. That’s why it’s so important to look for Australian Prawns at point of sale, because antibiotic use isn’t banned in many countries exporting their product to Australia.
Can you eat prawn heads?
All the prawn is edible. So if you see a cutlet (a peeled prawn with just the tail on) it’s fine to eat the whole thing. Even prawn heads are edible and the head contains most of the the flavour, but it is an acquired taste. Because the prawn head can contain sharp pieces that are hard to chew, be careful. One way to enjoy prawn heads is to put them on a very hot grill plate under a little pressure from a spatula to create a crunchy chip-like treat.
Can you eat raw prawns?
No! Despite some prawns being sold as “sashimi grade” you should always cook prawns before eating or even better, buy them cooked at sea if you want to enjoy them at their best. You can place a frozen raw prawn into a dish like a laksa, soup or paella while cooking without defrosting.
When are prawns in season?
Because Australia is such a large country with diverse prawn fisheries and farms, you will be able to find an “in season” prawn at any time of the year. The Australian Prawn industry has sophisticated supply chain and cold store management, so prawns can be kept for up to 18 months. If you want to eat in season, Banana Prawns are mainly caught in the Gulf Of Carpentaria in Winter. Wild tigers from August – November. There are two seasons for the western king, around Feb-March and later in November. Prawn Farms harvest not long before Christmas and sometimes a second season will be harvested prior to Easter.