You’ve probably seen headlines this morning screaming about a Christmas prawn shortage, about prices soaring “over $50/kg”.
But rest assured – there’s no need to start re-writing your menu.
The prawn panic stems from the discovery of a disease called White Spot at three south east Queensland prawn farms back in October.
While the disease has no adverse effect on humans, it is highly contagious and fatal for crustaceans, and did force the affected farmers to halt supply.
However, Mamamia spoke to a number of people in the seafood industry today and they’ve assured us there’s neither a shortage, nor any indication that prices will be any higher than previous years as a result.
“It’s the number-one topic every Christmas. Everyone’s worried they can’t get their prawns,” said Sydney Fish Market General Manager and NSW Seafood Industry Council Chair Bryan Skepper.
This year, the market still expects to sell over 200 tonnes of the stuff to Sydney-siders in the 36 hours leading up to the 25th.
“The Logan Valley prawn farming issue is a tragedy for the three farms that are involved. But it’s not actually had an adverse affect on supplies of prawns into The Sydney Fish Market. In fact, we’ve been getting good supplies coming through.”
Australian Prawn Farmers Association Executive Officer Helen Jenkins agrees that Australians have no reason to panic.
“The current disease is not impacting or causing any prawn shortage at present,” she told Mamamia. “The farmers that have been impacted, their harvest is not normally ready for Christmas anyway.”
As for rumours of inflated prices, she argues, “Someone’s beating [consumers] up somewhere if they’re getting $55 a kilo.”