Today marks Australia’s first National Prawn Day and the start of peak prawn season for both farmed and wild-caught prawns.
Enjoy your prawns on a barbie or in a pan, knowing that Australia’s prawns are green, as in rated sustainable by the Status of Australian Fish Stocks Reports (SAFS).
Coordinated by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), the SAFS reports bring together available biological, catch and effort information to determine the status of Australia’s key wild catch fish stocks (populations). The information in these reports is backed by rigorous science and is updated regularly.
SAFS assessed 20 stocks of prawns, including Banana, Endeavour and Tiger prawns. Of these, 16 were rated sustainable (green) and four were rated as undefined, which means insufficient data was available to make an accurate assessment for that stock.
Every time the SAFS reports are updated, new stocks are added and the existing ones reviewed. The latest version of the SAFS reports will be released in the next few weeks and it will contain a new prawn species, the Redspot King Prawn. The SAFS reports can be viewed at www.fish.gov.au
“Importantly, the reports look at stocks, not species.” Says Dr Patrick Hone, FRDC’s Managing Director “as this is a far more accurate way of assessing sustainability. A stock is a population within a species, in a certain area”.
Banana prawns are found across northern Australia, from WA to QLD. They are sustainable across all jurisdictions. Harvests are highly dependent on seasonal conditions, which influence prawn populations from year to year. Australia’s stocks of Endeavour Prawns are sustainable in the main commercial fisheries in WA, the Northern Prawn Fishery, and Qld. They are undefined in areas with smaller catches, where less information is available. Tiger Prawn stocks in the Commonwealth, NT, WA and QLD are sustainable. There is one negligible stock in NSW and one undefined stock in the Commonwealth managed fishery (Torres Strait). The assessment includes both Brown Tiger and Grooved Tiger Prawns.
Since July 2018, SAFS summary information has been used to inform Australia"s progress against UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.4.1, the proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels. The United Nations Sustainability Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.