Senior research scientist Steve Montgomery, berths at Corcoran Park while tagging prawns in the Clarence River.
Senior research scientist Steve Montgomery, berths at Corcoran Park while tagging prawns in the Clarence River.

3000 prawns tagged for three-year study

By JULIA ILES

THREE thousand Clarence River school prawns caught and tagged by marine scientists recently are now worth about $15,000 collectively.

Fishermen who find any of the tagged prawns can take them to the Department of Fisheries or the Fisherman's Co-op to receive $5 per prawn.

It is part of a three-year study project jointly undertaken by the Fisheries Department and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

"This is the most significant prawning area in the whole of New South Wales; on average 300 tons of it is harvested each year, on a good year 500," senior research scientist Steve Montgomery said.

"We need better research into the school prawns' growth and mortality so we have spent the last three days catching, tagging them and giving them an individual name."

Mr Montgomery and his col- leagues from the Department of Primary Industries have travelled from their Cronulla base to undertake the tagging, which is done by piercing the prawn through its side.

"It doesn't cause them damage or disable them when properly done," he said.

As for the rain: "It doesn't affect our work, but personally it's not that great."

For further information about the program please call the Department of Primary Industries on 1300 768 228.



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