Gary is a recognised OceanWatch Master Fisherman who responsibly and sustainably harvests Hawkesbury River school prawn. Gary catches prawns using his purpose built single rig Estuary Prawn Trawler ‘Kristy Ann’.
The Hawkesbury River is one of only 3 estuaries that are professionally trawled for prawn in New South Wales. Fishing is restricted on weekends and public holidays, and there are additional restrictions on the size of the boats, nets and equipment that can be used.
Gary uses a bycatch reduction device called a blubber shoot, to allow any unwanted catch to escape unharmed. This device effectively selects out larger animals through an escape opening, whilst the prawns swim through and are retained in the cod end or posterior end of the net. The cod end is constructed of square shaped mesh, which is designed to aid the release of small prawn whilst fishing.
Large prawns are sorted, cooked and chilled on the boat, whilst smaller green ‘raw’ prawns are chilled on ice to supply demand for locally source recreational fishing bait.