Family at sea leads the way to changes we can see
Australian Caught Prawns
The owners of Australian Caught Prawns, a 20 year fisherman and his wife who is the third generation of fishers in her family, know that taking care of customers begins by taking care of the environments we all rely on and share. “My wife and I love the concept that we catch such a beautiful, wild caught product and distribute it straight to the customers at a very reasonable price,” said Peter Dahlberg, one of the owners in the family.
One of the largest ways they help protect the environment is by fishing in the Northern Prawn Fishery, which has an accreditation with the Marine Stewardship Council. The council is a group who monitors fishing practises to ensure that sustainability is practiced, and environmental impact is also monitored. Certified fisheries have seen historical improvement in sustainability. Stocks have been rebuilt due to limited seasons, and ecosystems are protected by strict fishing area controls. Their changes in fishing gear has also lead to less inadvertent interactions with birds and sea mammals.
Before they began in 2007, many of the Tiger Prawns caught in nearby waters were transported overseas. Now, the family catches the prawns, and immediately snap-freeze them while at sea, so locals can enjoy them. Within 45 minutes of being caught, the prawns are placed at -40 degrees, keeping them fresh for months, defrosting only when needed. This ensures not only a fresh product is delivered directly to the customer, but also ensures much less waste.
These practices are thoughtfully being passed down to the next generation, as the family’s eldest daughter has already spent her first three years on the boat, and both daughters enjoy school holidays helping the family out at sea.
Banana prawns, which are schooling prawns, are in season from April to June, so the family says they are already seeing some of their biggest catches of the year, sometimes freezing up to 10,000kg in less than 24 hours. Later in the year, they’ll begin fishing for Tiger and Endeavour Prawns from August to November.
Every second Sunday, Australian Caught Prawns sets up at Noosa Farmers Market, though they may reduce their schedule to make more time for the busy season ahead at sea. Currently in stock are Huge Tiger, Large Endeavours, Medium Endeavours, Moreton Bay Bugs and Wild Caught Barramundi Fillets.