Warren Dean, operator of Bowen-based prawn trawler Tweed Seeker and deckhand Camen McMillan take a break to refuel at Mackay yesterday.
Warren Dean, operator of Bowen-based prawn trawler Tweed Seeker and deckhand Camen McMillan take a break to refuel at Mackay yesterday. Stuart Quinn

Strong year for prawns despite a slow start

AFTER a slow start to the season, 2018 has been proving a strong year for prawns along the east coast.

Bowen-based trawler operator Warren Dean, who made a fuel stop at Mackay Marina yesterday, has been working the Mackay area for three months.

"It's a late season and going on from last year, I'm guessing at the moment (this year's catch) will be above (that of) last year's,” he said.

"The season opens in March, but we've only been trawling here three months now. March and April were really awful (in Mackay) but the trawling did well further north.

"Townsville and Cairns did really well at the start of the year was because they got the rain - if you get the rain that pushes the prawns (out to sea) early - but now they are not doing so well.

"It's better trawling here in Mackay than up north at the moment.”

Mr Dean said he and his 18-year-old deck hand Camen McMillan from a Gladstone fishing family, were able to clear four tonnes of prawns in July alone trawling from their 15metre vessel the Tweed Seeker.

Mr Dean said the east coast trawling industry had been doing decently in recent years and this year he'd acquired a new 18m boat to be operated by his son Jesse.

The industry remained afloat, he said, despite the decline in the number of smaller sized operators, such as himself.


SWEET DELIGHTS: New Somerset business aims to go global

Premium Content SWEET DELIGHTS: New Somerset business aims to go global

Toogoolawah’s newest business has plans to take their operation national and...

Closed council discusses Lake Dyer caravan park tender

Premium Content Closed council discusses Lake Dyer caravan park tender

Council sought interest from experienced caravan park operators to take over the...

New bridge to take name of Somerset farming family

Premium Content New bridge to take name of Somerset farming family

A long-standing farming family have requested a road be named after them, but a...