Photograph: Glacier Media
A glut of spot prawns stockpiled in Asia and export points across the pandemic imply B.C. fishermen will get lots much less for his or her contemporary catch or retailer it frozen till markets enhance.
It isn’t instantly clear if retail costs for the native seafood delicacy will decline. A survey of some retailers reveals spot prawns are promoting for between $20 and $39 a pound.
The proprietor of Most interesting at Sea, a Victoria-based seafood firm with three prawning boats, mentioned that whereas the catch has been bountiful this spring, the worldwide markets to promote them have been “subdued.”
About 90 per cent of B.C.’s whole catch is usually exported to Japan and China, however Bob Fraumeni mentioned these international locations both have already got good provides or solely need the biggest sizes.
Since spot prawns fluctuate significantly in measurement, that leaves a lot of the catch to be bought to Victoria and Vancouver eating places and grocery shops.
“Costs are in the bathroom … that’s the fast reply,” Fraumeni mentioned.
Vancouver fish patrons are paying about $5 wholesale a pound for “unfinished” spot prawns, down from about $16 a pound final yr, he mentioned.
The Chinese language and Japanese markets are restricted, however nonetheless open, mentioned Fraumeni, however patrons there solely need the biggest sizes and are paying between $11 and $13 a frozen pound, which is down about 30 per cent from final yr.
Japan, the biggest marketplace for B.C. spot prawns, closely stockpiled for the 2020 Olympics, however the video games had been postponed to subsequent yr due to the pandemic, leaving the nation with an oversupply.
Fraumeni mentioned Monday that Most interesting at Sea was loading a container of spot prawns for Asia, however most of the small to medium-sized prawns will likely be saved frozen “slightly than promote at a loss.”
In B.C., about 2,450 metric tonnes of spot prawns are harvested yearly, with about 65% coming from the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
They’re the biggest of the seven industrial species of shrimp discovered on the west coast. Some bigger females exceed 23 centimetres in size.
The industrial prawn and shrimp by entice fishery is likely one of the most useful within the Pacific area, accounting for a landed worth of $35.three million in 2013, in line with the newest knowledge from the Pacific Prawns Fisherman’s Affiliation.