Ever wondered about how your favourite seafood got to your plate?
In the prawn trawl fishery, nets drag along the ocean floor and scoop up everything in their path including, turtles, octopus, rays, skates, sharks and reef fish are rapidly that are raised to the surface.
If they are not already crushed by the nets by the time they reach the surface, the trauma of the rapid ascent is usually enough to kill them. Once on deck, the content of the nets is sorted and up to 80% of the haul is dumped back overboard, often dead and wasted. An estimated 150 000 endangered turtles drown in the prawn nets every year.
You may think that aquaculture is the solution, however…
Farmed prawns have their own associated concerns – coastal habitats are destroyed, high levels of pollution are produced, outbreaks of disease and bacteria, unregulated use of pesticides and antibiotics, and fish feed from unsustainable sources. There are also significant negative socio-economic impacts of destroying the natural habitats that previously sustained communities.
Various species of prawns are on the red or orange list, and look out for new species and farming methods that will be on the SASSI list soon! ASC certified prawns are available at certain retailers.