On-board processing and packaging innovation in the Australian wild harvest prawn fishery
The wild prawn industry currently catches over 20,000 tonnes of wild prawns valued at over $300 million per year. The industry has identified stages where product waste occurs during on-board processing of prawns and is keen to capitalise on the increased value that could be achieved through eliminating it. This project is a great example of how a collaborative approach can assist industry to reduce waste and add value to the Australian prawn industry.
This project will benchmark prawn loss volumes and identify intervention activities through targeted supply-chain analysis with stakeholders throughout the Australian prawn supply chain (on-board operators, transport and storage operators, food distributors/retailers). It will also generate solutions that provide:
- the ability to efficiently and optimally process larger volumes of prawns under periods of high-volume catch
- on-board processing automation (such as peeling) to enhance product value thus increasing profitability
- the ability to supply a premium grade product as a result of faster processing times
- the ability to reduce crew fatigue due to increased automation and adoption of new technology
- new on-board preservation techniques that will improve shelf-life, increase market access and reduce discard in supermarkets/retail
- a potential price premium for the frozen high-quality product if on-board freezing capacity is introduced to vessels currently supplying fresh only product
- the introduction of new on-board packaging formats and automation technologies that can reduce the waste associated with larger volume packaging, reduce on-board labour costs and worker risk, and reduce the need for land-based re-packaging.
As this project progresses and achieves its milestones, we’ll share the good news on this page by adding information, links, images, interviews and more.