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Perth prawn project

WESTERN Australia’s Fisheries Minister Ken Baston is encouraging Perth residents to join a new citizen science project by taking up the once popular pastime of prawning in the Swan and Canning rivers.

Mr Baston said Prawn Watch was part of the Western School Prawn restocking project, a collaboration between the Swan River Trust, the Department of Fisheries, Challenger Institute of Technology, Murdoch University, Recfishwest and the WA Fish Foundation.

The project aims to restock the Swan and Canning rivers with Western School Prawns and determine factors limiting their natural recruitment.

“Many years ago, prawning on a hot summer night on the Swan and Canning rivers was a popular Perth pastime but it has slowly declined as prawn stocks diminished,” the Minister said.

“This project aims to reignite Perth’s passion for prawning and Prawn Watch will enable the community to contribute to understanding the abundance and distribution of river prawns.

“The Swan River Trust will provide training to all Prawn Watchers who then log their catches at a dedicated website.

“This will help ensure the next generation of prawners are educated in sustainable fishing including returning all by-catch to the river system.”

Mr Baston said Prawn Watch was a perfect example of fishing licence money at work.

“All funds from the recreational fishing licences benefit the recreational fishing sector,” he said.

“This project, which has seen an investment of $330,000 over three years, is an active way recreational fishers can benefit from the licence fees they pay.’’

To get involved in Prawn Watch visit: http://www.riverguardians.com/projects/prawn-watch.

Fact File

  • Regular releases of up to 200,000 Western School Prawns are now taking place with up to a million expected to be restocked this summer
  • The restocking and culturing of the prawns is a world first
  • Numbers of western school prawns in the Swan and Canning rivers have declined significantly since the 1950s
  • The Prawn Watch initiative is partly funded by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund

 

 

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