Mullet harvesting season begins
THE annual mullet run traditionally starts today in the yearly harvesting that generates up to a million dollars additional revenue to Clarence River fishermen.
Already ten tonnes of roe mullet have been harvested from the Clarence River and Lake Wooloweyah, their roe destined mostly for Taiwan with Japan and Korea also importing from our market.
The revenue raised from this season’s mullet run will help make up the blow felt by a halved school prawn catch last season. The slump resulted in a 50 per cent pay cut for Clarence River professional school prawn fishermen.
“The prawn catch was around 200 tonnes, down from an average 350-400 tonnes,” sales and marketing manager of Clarence River Fishermen’s Co-op, Brett Schofield said.
“It was a tough year.”
So far the season, which lasts until around the end of June or beginning of July is looking good, with tonnes of roe mullet weighed in since the first catch on April 12.
Mr Schofield said that around 60 river fishermen will be out catching roe mullet over the next eight weeks.
Dirty water in the Clarence River means most of the fish are being caught in the lower river – including Lake Wooloweyah – and migration will soon start to head out to sea, where catches will continue up and down the coast.
While the roe is heading off shore, the rest of the mullet is being sold for a bargain across the Valley. At just $15 for 10 kilos of mullet, Mr Schofield reckons we should all be plating up mullet while it’s fresh and plentiful.
“There has been a certain stigma attached to mullet among the younger generation,” Mr Schofield said. “The older generation though seems to appreciate its taste and high omega 3 content.”