Four millionth prawn for Swan and Canning rivers

Image: RecFishWest

SUCCESSFUL prawn breeding techniques developed in Western Australia are improving restocking efforts in the Swan and Canning rivers, with another 1.5 million juvenile prawns released so far during 2015-16.

The latest release of 400,000 western school prawns occurred today near Canning Bridge and Matilda Bay – all cultured by the Australian Centre for Applied Aquaculture Research (ACAAR) in Fremantle.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Fisheries, Recfishwest, the WA Fish Foundation, ACAAR, Murdoch University, Prawn Watch and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation are working together on the project.

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the partnership between government and community groups was helping restore the popular recreational activity of prawning for Perth families.

The historically popular recreational drag netting for prawns had all but disappeared as prawn numbers fell over time. Restocking began in 2013, using fishing licence fees to fund the project.

Between May 2013 and March 2015, 2.5 million juvenile prawns were released into the rivers. Another 1.1 million prawns were released in December 2015. The release this week brings the total number to four million.

“The prawn culture work by ACAAR has stepped up release rates as the staff involved refine their techniques and knowledge,” Baston said.

“This is another example of how recreational fishing licence fees are being re-invested in projects to benefit recreational fishing.”

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the restocking work had been run in conjunction with the citizen science Prawn Watch program, to encourage stewardship of the rivers.

“We are keen to see the community connect with the river and to experience the pleasure of prawning. They can share information on their catch with us by using the Prawn Watch app,” Jacob said.

For more information visit the River Guardians or RecFishWest websites. 

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