Prawn farming in Queensland’s largest aquaculture sector, with industry focused on the cultivation of two native species; the black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) and the banana prawn (Fenneropenaeus merguiensis). Requiring temperatures above 25oC during the production season, the vast majority of farms (95%) are located in Queensland, with a small of number located in northern NSW.
Aquaculture production currently accounts for about 20% of Australia’s prawn harvest, with the bulk of production coming from the wild-harvest prawn fisheries.
The Australian prawn farming sector is required to meet high standards for assessment and management of prawn farm facilities. Consequently, Australia has one of the cleanest prawn farming industries in the world, and sets the benchmark for environmental management of any prawn farming nation.
Aquaculture prawn farming began in the 1980’s with most farms being located on flat land adjacent to sea water sources, such as tidal rivers or creeks. It takes approximately 6 months for prawns to grow to market size, and most farms have their own processing facilities on site that include grading, cooking, packaging and freezing. Prawns are processed as quickly as possible after harvest, and the majority are sold into the domestic market.