Prawn ‘citizenship checks’ now a reality

By AAP Newswire

Aussies love throwing a shrimp on the barbie but until now there's been no sure way for consumers to guarantee the true blue provenance of their prawns.

The Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries has perfected technology which scans the crustaceans and uses trace metal profiling to tell if they've come from domestic waters.

The prawn provenance tool, launched this week, is a world first in the seafood industry and can identify and validate the origin of Australian prawns, federal Fisheries Assistant Minister Jonathon Duniam said.

"With Queensland home to a large number of prawn farms, it's especially significant for the sunshine state and its economy," he said.

Australia's prawn industry produces around 21,000 tonnes of Australian prawns from the ocean annually and around 5000 tonnes from prawn farms.

Council chairwoman Annie Jarrett said being able to identify where seafood is sourced is an increasingly important factor.

"Our industry wants to be able to scientifically verify the provenance of Australian prawns at any point in the supply chain globally," she said.

The tool uses prawn flesh to run a chemical match with metals characteristic only to Australian waters and farms.