IF you want cheaper prawns this festive season, it's all about sourcing a different species or size, sales manager from Urangan Fisheries Paul Hodson says.
The team at Urangan Fisheries said they would have high quality Australian wild-caught prawns starting from under $19/kg during the week leading up to Christmas.
Despite shortages further south, Urangan Fisheries currently have plenty of prawn stock available now and more stock arriving before the festive season.
Mr Hodson said the company had a regular supply of Australian wild-caught prawns coming into its factory and retail shop all year round.
He said Urangan Fisheries had an extensive range of high quality prawns in stock at a much lower price point than the previously quoted $45 a kilo.
"Prawn species available will include wild-caught Bananas, Tigers, Endeavours and King Prawns," he said.
"All wild-caught prawns were full of flavour as they are caught in the pristine salt-water oceans off the coast of Australia."
YOU can expect to pay close to $45 a kilo for your prawns this festive season with pressure on adequate supply resulting in soaring prices ahead of Christmas.
Linda Carsley from Urangan Fisheries said the bottom line was there hadn't been the rain needed in estuaries for sufficient breeding which had a flow on effect with supplies, impacting the price.
Mrs Carsley said Urangan Fisheries had worked hard to be able to have a good supply of prawns for locals at Christmas but it wasn't simply about catching a prawn and throwing it in the freezer.
"You have to handle the prawn, there are costs to freeze and store the prawns on the trawlers and then they're stocked in a massive freezer at the shop, as well as wages that come into the cut," she said.
"Our prices are higher and will be for Christmas because the availability just isn't there.
"Some can be out there prawning and not catching a huge amount, so it's been a rough year prawn wise.
"We're not putting our prices up to make a profit for Christmas, they're just harder to source so we have no choice."
Will you buy prawns this Christmas?
Queensland Seafood Marketers Association president Marshall Betzel said the "double whammy" of booming Chinese demand for Australian wild-caught prawns and ongoing import restrictions was driving up prices across the country.
"The overall message is don't leave it to the last minute to go shopping for seafood for Christmas," he said.
Ms Carsley, who has worked on trawlers herself, said their prawns were sitting at the $45 a kilo for a high-quality large prawn, which would be the same at Christmas.
For the next size down you can expect to pay around $37 a kilo.
While prawns are a popular choice at Christmas, Ms Carsley said there was an abundance of bugs and sand crabs.
For a large bug you're looking at about $42 a kilo, while scallops are sitting around the $48 a kilo mark.
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