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Banana Prawn Fishermen Report Excellent Catch in Gulf of Carpentaria

13 June 2012

AUSTRALIA - Trawlers full of banana prawns are returning to port in far north Queensland. Skippers are reporting a better-than-average banana prawn season in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Austral Fisheries general manager Andy Prendergast says catches are down on last year's bumper harvest, but that should mean prices are slightly better, reports ABCRural.

"When I say they've been good, 4,500 tonnes is about 1,200 or 1,300 tonnes less than we produced in the banana season last year," he said.

"So it's still in the order of a high catch, but nowhere near as much as last year.

"So traditionally, when the catch lowers, the prices rises slightly, but it's only incremental."

With only 50 boats remaining in the northern prawn fishery, Mr Prendergast says the fleet has its work cut out.

"Six thousand kilometres of coastline, we're allowed to fish from Cape York to the end of the Kimberleys," he said.

"So each one of those bioregions - there's about nine of them in our fishery - had prawns in it, which is reasonably uncommon, because they're all environmentally driven.

"To have widespread rainfall across all of those regions, and have them all produce, has been a really great outcome."

The boats and their crews will be heading back to the Gulf for the start of the tiger prawn season on 1 August.

TheFishSite News Desk



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