Are prawns sustainable?

Sustainable wild-caught prawns are widely available in Australia and New Zealand. You can find prawns with the blue fish tick at Coles deli counters and on many branded boxed prawns.

What is a prawn?

Prawns are crustaceans from the order Decapoda, meaning 'ten-legged' (or technically, 'ten-footed'). Their sweet taste and firm texture make them ideal for many dishes, and they are sold fresh or frozen, raw or cooked. 

Common wild-caught species in Australia include banana prawns (red or white), tiger prawns (brown or grooved), king prawns (eastern and western), and endeavour prawns (blue or red). Farmed species include black tiger prawns and vannamei prawns. 

Check out our sustainable prawn recipes.

How do I know if prawns are sustainable?

Prawns carrying the MSC blue fish tick are certified sustainable. MSC labelled prawns come from a wild-capture fishery that has been independently assessed to the MSC Fisheries Standard. Companies using the blue fish tick all along the supply chain have been assessed to ensure products can be traced back to an MSC certified fishery.

Where can I buy sustainable prawns?

Look for boxed prawns with the blue fish tick from brands including Skull Island Tiger Prawns, Spencer Gulf King Prawns, Shark Bay PrawnsRaptis Ocean Pearl Banana Prawns, Hanna V King Prawns, Karumba Banana Prawns, king prawns and tiger prawns.

You can also find wild banana prawns with the blue fish tick at Coles deli seafood counters.

More than half of wild-caught prawns in Australia are now MSC certified. This is important, as in many cases they are found in areas of particular ecological significance, and fishing methods must not damage the delicate environmental balance.

Prawn facts

Australia's prawn fisheries have developed a range of bycatch reduction devices to reduce the amount of other fish and marine species caught in prawn trawling nets, including turtle excluder devices (TEDs) which allow turtles, sharks and rays to safely escape from nets.   

It's estimated Australians consume 40% of all prawns at Christmas, with around half of wild prawns in Australia certified as sustainable to the MSC standard.

 

Watch video

Chargrilled Skull Island Tiger Prawns with Andy Allen

1:12

 

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