Seafood CRC: value adding to the school prawn industry: Clarence River case study

Project Number:



SARDI Food Safety and Innovation

Principal Investigator:

Karen McNaughton

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:




Value Adding to the School Prawn Industry: Clarence River Case Study

Final Report
Author(s):Stephen Pahl and Karen McNaughton
Date Published:July 2014

School prawns (Metapenaeus macleayi) are marine and estuarine prawns found along the east coast of Australia, between southern Queensland and eastern Victoria. Given that school prawns are low to medium priced, there is significant opportunity to increase the margin for this species by value adding. Due to the small average size of school prawns, it is not possible to produce a peeled product with current technology, but there is an opportunity to extract prawn meat from whole prawns.

This project investigated the production of an extracted school prawn meat from green and cooked prawns. The prawns were processed in a Baader separator which squashed the soft tissue (prawn meat) into a perforated drum. The extracted products were collected, packaged and the shelf life assessed through sensory, microbiological and biochemical methods.


1. To identify and pilot an economically feasible end-use/new market for extracted green school prawn meat

2. To increase profitability for the commercial school prawn fishery