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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Monday 23 February 2015

River prawn release exceeds target

Following is a joint media statement from Minister for Fisheries, the Hon. Ken Bston MLC and Environment Minister, the Hon. Albert Jacob MLA

  • ​​Scientists achieved a world-first following the successful development of methods to culture Western School Prawns in the laboratory
  • The scientific break-through is part of the Western School Prawn restocking program focused on addressing prawn decline in the Swan Canning Riverpark

Plans to restock the Swan and Canning rivers with Western School Prawns have hit a significant milestone with more than one million prawns already released this year.

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the Western School Prawn restocking project had trumped expectations with project partners Challenger Institute of Technology, Murdoch University and the Swan River Trust revising their 2015 release predictions.

“The Western School Prawn project set a target to release one million prawns this season and already more than 1.24 million have been released and this week a further 300,000 prawns will be released, bringing the total to more than 1.5 million in 2015 alone,” he said.

“It is an outstanding outcome that has seen Challenger staff develop aquaculture techniques with release rates increasing from 1,000 in 2013 to 635,000 in 2014 and more than 1.5 million in 2015.”

Mr Baston said this year’s breeding season had another month to run and the Western School Prawn restocking project is expecting to release close to two million prawns this year.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the three phase project - which included restocking, determining the factors affecting natural recruitment and the citizen science project Prawn Watch -had community participation at its heart.

“Prawning on the Swan and Canning rivers is a popular summer pastime and reinvigorating the prawn population will ensure this will continue,” Mr Jacob said.

“Now is the ideal time to get out in the water with the warm summer evenings providing perfect conditions for prawning.”

Fact File

  • The Western School Prawn restocking project was made possible by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and is supported by Recfishwest, the Department of Fisheries, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Swan River Trust and the WA Fish Foundation
  • Since 2011, more than $6.5 million from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund has been committed to large and small initiatives throughout WA
  • For more information, visit

Fisheries Minister’s office - 6552 5400
Environment Minister’s office - 6552 5800

Last modified: 25/02/2015 9:53 AM

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