Nutrition & Species

Australian wild prawn species have subtle differences in taste, size, texture and sweetness. With fewer kilojoules, more protein and way less fat than beef, skinless chicken, pork and lamb, they are a super food!

See where prawns are caught and at what times of year in Australia.

Prawn Nutrition

Australian wild prawns have naturally high levels of many nutrients which contribute to a healthy lifestyle. They are a good source of Omega 3, Phosphorous, Selenium and sometimes Iodine.

Just 30g of prawns will reach your recommended daily intake of Omega 3 – known to reduce the risk of heart disease and arthritis symptoms – but approximately 300g of chicken breast for the same Omega 3 goodness.

Take a look at the detailed nutritional information for prawn species and how they benefit your health.

Prawns are extremely low in fat and calories, yet packed with nutrition – an unexpected winner amongst protein sources

Of the popular protein options available in Australia; beef, lamb, pork, chicken, salmon – and some wild card additions kangaroo and tofu, wild prawns are a surprising winner across many nutrients when analysed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Australian Wild Prawn Species

There are two important questions to ask of the prawn in front of you. Is it wild and is it Australian? There are five major species of Australian wild prawns caught commercially; King, Banana, Tiger, Endeavour and School. With many more boutique species, all Australian wild prawn species have subtle differences in taste, size, texture and sweetness.

 

 Many prawn species live between 1.5 – 3 years, hatch at sea, spend their juvenile months in shallow nutrient rich waters and return to deeper water to mate. Most species are caught at night by trawling, some species on the dark of the moon. School prawns are found in the shallows where estuarine water meets marine water. Tiger, Banana and Endeavour prawns are found on ocean floor at 16+m – Endeavours to 30m. King prawns are found off the Continental shelf in deep water below 60m.  

Banana Prawns

Banana Prawns

Penaeus merguiensis

Banana Prawns are mainly caught in the Northern Prawn Fishery during a busy 8 week season leading into winter, leaving the rest of the year for stock to replenish. Bananas are also found in the tropical waters off Qld and WA.

Endeavour Prawns

Endeavour Prawns

Blue - Metapenaeus endeavouri

Red - Metapenaeus ensis

There are two types of Endeavour Prawn, red and blue. Endeavours are mainly found in northern waters above the Tropic of Capricorn, on both the East and West coasts. 

Eastern King Prawns

Eastern King Prawns

Melicertus plebejus

King doesn’t refer to size, but species, so you can have small, medium and large wild king prawns. There Eastern king prawn is found on the Eastern coasts of Australia.

Western King Prawns

Melicertus latisulcatus

Similar to the Eastern king prawn, the Western king prawn is found in deeper water on the Western and Southern coasts of Australia.

Brown Tiger Prawns

Brown Tiger Prawns

Penaeus esculentus

Brown tiger prawns are found only in the tropical and subtropical waters of Australia.  The tiger has distinctive stripes that become bright red when cooked.

Grooved Tiger Prawns

Grooved Tiger Prawns

Penaeus semisulcatus

Compared to Brown tiger prawns, Grooved tiger prawns can also be found outside Australia. They are caught in the same Australian waters as Brown tiger prawns but are pale brown with less distinct stripes.

School Prawns

Metapenaeus macleayi

The small but sweet school prawn is found in estuaries, rivers and bays around Australia. The Hawkesbury River the Clarence River and Lakes Entrance in Vic are all popular school prawn fisheries.

Red Spot King Prawns

Lesser Known Prawns

Red spot King, Scarlet, Royal red, Coral.

Australia is home to a range of boutique prawn species found in estuaries, bays or deep water ocean.

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