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Wild British Columbia Spot Prawns

Wild British Columbia Spot Prawns

Pandalus platyceros

In the first week of May chefs and food lovers begin to anticipate the opening of spot prawn season. Harvested in cold North Pacific waters this large shrimp is prized for its fresh, sweet, succulent flavour and firm, lobster-like flesh. They are sold live and have an almost translucent coral-coloured body with the namesake white spots on the tail, white horizontal stripes on the head, and pink and white striped legs and antennae. They are delicious served raw or in sushi, grilled over charcoal, or sautéed with garlic and chillies. Spot Prawns are low in fat and high in protein.

When in season, we fly these in daily as they are highly perishable - they should be stored on ice and eaten almost immediately. 

Spot prawns live in rocky habitats on the ocean floor off the British Columbia coast. Caught in the waters between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, they are shipped and sold live around the world. They have a four-year lifespan and are hermaphrodites—male for the first two years and female for the remainder of life. Harvesting size restrictions that protect the species mean all spot prawns on the market are female. 

An ecologically sound and well-managed fishery, commercial fishers use baited traps set on the ocean floor. Careful monitoring ensures a healthy and abundant population and restrictions include limiting commercial licenses to 252 with a quarter held by the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. License holders fund scientific research and keep daily logs they release to the fisheries management agency at the end of the season. Other measures include: limiting traps to 300 per license holder, returning females with eggs and small prawns live to the ocean, daily haul limitations, maximum trap volumes to reduce bycatch.

We love Spot Prawns as they are a herald of the wild season, very much like the Copper River Salmon. It means the winter is done and we can really start celebrating our oceans.
Hooked stores are all stocked for a couple of weeks with these yummy Spot Prawns from the Pacific. Come by and taste this amazing catch.

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