Bumper prawn haul to serve up bountiful Christmas supply
SEAFOOD lovers should be in for a treat this year with a bumper haul of prawns expected in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
With a full moon on show on December 14, Clarence River Fisherman's Co-op business development manager Gary Anderson said the conditions would be just right for school prawns.
"A lot of years there's no schoolies around Christmas time, whether it's been because the river has been too fresh or too dry," he said.
"Last year we hardly had any school prawns around Christmas but this year is looking good.
"Going on the last pocket net month we had, we're already planning on hopefully having some nice schoolies this Christmas. Leading into Christmas is should be a good week for pocket nets and there should be a nice lot of cooked schoolies available for Christmas."
Mr Anderson said preparations began three weeks ago to ensure the Maclean, Iluka and Yamba stores would be ready to handle the large influx of orders the co-op experiences over the Christmas period.
"We do a lot of work with the preparation for this time of year.
"Every week until the last week leading into Christmas we'll be doing preparations. We process all of our own products ourselves, with the crumbing of whiting fillets and calamari rings just in preparation for this time of year."
While crowds at the co-op shops keen to buy their Christmas seafood may not rival the numbers at the Sydney Fish Market, Mr Anderson said there was only word to describe Christmas Eve in the stores: "mad".
"It's going to be terrific all week to get ready and get the product in the stores, so we will work until midday on Saturday to make sure everything is going well.
"You've got to be a part of it to believe how busy it is, but it's exciting. I love being a part of it and all the staff do too, even though it tests you.
"It's what we do all year around, supply seafood, and it's like a frenzy when it gets to this time of year."