Cracking crustacean code

Recreational fishermen Will Smithwick and Kevin Reid collected gravid female prawns for the project.
Recreational fishermen Will Smithwick and Kevin Reid collected gravid female prawns for the project.

WA scientists are celebrating after successfully culturing western school prawns.

The breakthrough project was achieved by a partnership between the Swan River Trust, Challenger Institute of Technology, Murdoch University, Recfishwest, WA Fish Foundation and the Department of Fisheries.

Recreational fishermen Will Smithwick and Kevin Reid began prawning in the early 1980s when they lived in the southern suburbs, and used their expert knowledge to collect gravid female prawns for the project.

A few years ago, the Trust launched Mr Smithwick and Mr Reid’s book Black Water Prawning, and the pair said getting on board the restocking project developed from there.

‘We learnt a lot about the river during the process,’ Mr Smithwick said.

‘As we only used to prawn for fun’