Are your prawns coming from a sustainable source?

Aussies love their prawns. Whether they’re wedged on a skewer or tossed into a fresh salad, these healthy crustaceans are an integral part of our culinary culture and the famed seafood lunch. In fact, we love them so much they’re among our top ten favourite kinds of seafood

But do you know where your prawns are coming from? 

Here at Healthy Prawns, we like to talk about how sustainable, certified aquaculture operations produce healthy, tasty and ethical protein – and why choosing ethically-sourced seafood matters. 

  1. Why are ocean caught prawns unsustainable?
  2. What is the impact of ocean prawn trawling?
  3. Where can I buy sustainably-sourced prawns?

 

Why are ocean caught prawns unsustainable?

Our oceans cover almost three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, but global demand for seafood is growing more rapidly than our oceans can support, which means we could be without fish by 2048

According to a study by Rutgers University in New Jersey, which investigated the effects of ocean warming on global fish populations, there has been a 4.1% decrease in fish populations since 1930. Some areas, including the East China Sea and the North Sea, recorded drops as high as 35%. 

While a number of factors play a role in rising ocean temperatures and depleting fish numbers, one contributor has been overfishing. 

“Overfishing makes fisheries more vulnerable to warming, and continued warming will hinder efforts to rebuild overfished populations,” said the study's lead researcher, Chris Free.

However, seafood is an essential source of food for coastal and developing countries, where it provides up to 50% of the animal protein eaten there. As of 2020, over 56 million people rely on seafood, both as a vital food source and means of employment. 

Unfortunately, we’re currently at a turning point for marine agriculture, where warming temperatures and continuing unsustainable fishing practices are leaving oceans depleted of fish populations. This is why low density and low impact aquaculture prawn farming is crucial.

What is the impact of ocean prawn trawling?

One of the world’s most important traded fishery products is the humble prawn, with an industry estimated value of USD $10 billion. Like other seafood products, prawns generate substantial economic benefits for many developing countries. 

However, did you know that unsustainable prawn fishing is also the single greatest source of bycatch discards? 

Bycatch: The portion of marine animals that are unintentionally trapped by commercial fishing nets during a trawl.

Discards: The portion of caught marine animals that are thrown back into the sea.

 

While overfishing and bycatching may seem like separate issues, they often go hand-in-hand. Why? When trawlers scour the oceans for their desired catch, they often waste living resources, threaten endangered species and further impact fish stocks. This is particularly important for commercial species, like cod, snapper and mackerel. 


There’s never been a more important time to be mindful of where your prawns and seafood come from than right now. According to the WDC, over 300,000 marine mammals die each year due to overfishing and bycatching.

Where can I buy sustainably-sourced prawns?  

How can you get this delicious protein onto your plate without putting a strain on our beloved oceans? Choose Healthy Prawns! 

Healthy Prawns combines an extensive knowledge of the Ecuadorian environment and prawn farming conditions with an understanding of what Australian families need: tasty, healthy and sustainable food. 

What makes Healthy Prawns sustainable?

We’re committed to ensuring that the incredibly valuable prawn is produced responsibly for current and future generations. It’s why we adhere to strict sustainable prawn-farming practices. 

Sustainable prawn farming is more than just responsible and ethical seafood production. It’s also about working with nature to ensure that surrounding and connected ecosystems aren’t impacted by our water, land, and energy consumption. 

Healthy Prawns are:

  • Raised and farmed in a natural and balanced ecosystem, with no contaminants.
  • Grown in low density and high salinity ponds in free range conditions.
  • Fed high-quality pellet feed from reputable international feed companies and no antibiotics.

Where do we farm our prawns? 

The EcuAussie Healthy Prawns farm is locally operated in the province of Guayas, Ecuador. Located on 200 hectares of land, it’s surrounded by 140 hectares of dry forest – which serve as a nature reserve for native animals. The ponds have no impact on the surrounding environment.

The water source for our farm is an estuary that’s free of agricultural and industrial activity. It is affected only by rain and not by any other large river systems. We also stock our ponds at only 15 to 20 prawns per square metre. This is significantly lower than is common in prawn (shrimp) aquaculture. It means that Healthy Prawns aren’t just sustainable prawns, they’re happy prawns too.