Sustainable

SUSTAINABILITY

Wild BC Spot Prawns come from a sustainable fishery. The fishery is recognized by the David Suzuki Foundation/Seachoice program as a BEST CHOICE, the Vancouver Aquarium Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program as GREEN and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch as a BEST CHOICE.

Why are Wild BC Spot Prawns such a great catch?

The Wild BC Spot Prawn fishery is very well managed. This is accomplished by

  • restricting the fishery to trap gear
  • limiting the number of licenses and the number of traps per license
  • harvest log requirements
  • minimum trap mesh size restrictions
  • minimum harvest size requirements
  • single haul per day limitations
  • maximum trap volume
  • effective monitoring programs
  • license holders funding scientific research
  • fishery closures when the number of spawning prawns reaches a pre-determined level

Restricting the fishery to trap gear minimizes the incidental catch of non-target species and impact on the ocean habitat.

A limit on the number of licenses and the number of traps per license means that there are only 252 licensed commercial prawn vessels with each license restricted to 300 traps.

Harvest log requirements mean that vessel masters are responsible for the provision and maintenance of an accurate record of daily harvest operations recording date, time, catch and fishing location. The harvest log must be submitted to the fisheries management agency at the end of each fishing season.

Mesh size restrictions and harvest size requirements minimize the capture of undersize prawns. Any prawns under the minimum size of 33 mm (1.3 inches), as measured from the eye socket to the end of the carapace, must be returned live to the ocean. Fish harvesters are required to sort their catch as each trap comes on board and to release spawning female prawns (those with roe) and undersized prawns immediately before the next trap is recovered. In addition, any non-target species – such as other species of shrimp, small finfish and crab – incidentally caught in the prawn fishery are also returned to the ocean live.