Freezing their catch enables prawn harvesters to make it readily available for inspection Photo: Fisheries and Oceans CanadaFreezing their catch enables prawn harvesters to make it readily available for inspection Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Canada’s Fisheries minister has confirmed her support for an interim protocol allowing harvesters to freeze their Pacific prawn catch, helping ensure it is readily available for inspection and subsequent sale.

Many harvesters freeze prawn tails in seawater, a process known as ‘tubbing’. This protocol, developed by the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association, will help the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) monitor and enforce size limits to ensure the prawns are harvested sustainably.

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said that the goal is to see the Pacific prawn fishery continue to thrive. “Working in partnership with the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association, we have agreed on a process that will allow harvesters to freeze their catch at sea this season, just as they’ve done for years,” she said.

“Size limits remain a critical part of a sustainable prawn fishery, and we will work with industry to develop viable, alternative practices for the long-term,” she added.

BC Spot Prawns have been recognised by the OceanWise program as a ‘sustainable’ choice, and as a ‘good alternative’ by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

DFO has a comprehensive set of management measures in place that help ensure the sustainability of the fishery such as trap mesh size restrictions that enable most undersize prawns to escape, satellite-based vessel monitoring systems, restrictions on the retention of berried prawns and third party sampling of catch to help DFO make timely fishery closure decisions.

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