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Ocean Wise Recommends Making the Most of Spot Prawn Season During the Month of May

The Goods from Ocean Wise

Vancouver, BC | Each month the Ocean Wise Seafood Program picks one seasonal item and explains what makes it a smart choice for seafood-lovers. In this edition, we focus on what to seek out during the month of April…

Which seafood do you currently recommend?

Spot Prawns (pandalus platyceros), trap caught, wild, BC.

As we move into May, we also move into the super short commercial Spot Prawn harvesting season here in BC. Shrimp is one of the most popular seafoods consumed on a global scale and we are so fortunate to have such a sustainable option close to home.

What makes this particular item Ocean Wise?

The intentional process for harvesting Spot Prawns ensures their numbers remain healthy and that Spot Prawn stocks are meticulously monitored for species preservation. Some unique elements of Spot Prawn harvesting in BC that make this shrimp a sustainable choice include:

  1. Life Cycle Dictated Harvesting: Spot Prawn fishing season is incredibly short, and there’s a very good reason for that! Each season marks a new phase of the Spot Prawn life cycle and harvesting is only allowed during a short Spring window. At this time of the year, there are fewer berried females (females with eggs), who must always be released live back into the water if caught.
  2. A Slow and Intentional Process: Spot Prawn traps are collected one at a time, and the contents of each trap are accessed and appropriately handled before moving on to the next trap. Any unwanted species (aka bycatch) are returned to the ocean immediately, along with any berried females and undersized prawns.
  3. The Use of Specific Equipment: The trap gear used for spot prawn harvesting is highly selective, which helps drastically reduce the amount of bycatch in each pull. Traps are exclusively placed on rocky, hard substrates to minimize seafloor damage.

Where to find it:

Check out the Ocean Wise Seafood partner map for an Ocean Wise partner near you!

What is Sustainable Seafood?

Ocean Wise Seafood® recommends both farmed and wild seafood options that follow these criteria:

1. Harvesting that ensures healthy and resilient stocks and populations.
2. Effective and adaptive management.
3. Limited negative impacts on habitats and other species.

About the Ocean Wise Seafood Program | The Ocean Wise Seafood Program, founded in 2005, was created to make it easy for everyone to choose sustainable seafood. With over 750 partners in more than 3,000 locations across Canada, we can all do our part to protect the long-term health of our oceans, lakes and rivers. Thanks to our national team of scientists as well as a global network of experts, our recommendations are based on the most up-to-date science.

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