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Prawn fishermen back in business

Tuesday April 2, 2013 - 08:16 EDT
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Prawn trawlers return to the Hunter River after recent floodwaters washed out stocks. - ABC

Hunter prawn fisherman are enjoying a strong finish to a season hampered by heavy rain and floods.

They have just returned to work more than two weeks after the most recent flooding and are catching up to 400 kilograms a day.

Prawn fisherman Robert Hamilton says the catches are limited to around the steelworks channel.

He believes prawns were also affected by the lack of oxygen which led to a mass fish kill in the Hunter River.

"There was patches of dead prawn on the river bank and floating and there's no small prawn around anywhere which is a bit worrying," he said.

"The black water's probably killed them as well, besides the fish.

"I hope not but I think that's what's happened."

He says the floods are a mixed blessing for the industry.

"Because they don't like freshwater they just get pushed out until they find where they want to be which is normally outside the heads, same as the fish and everything.

"Then when it starts clearing again, they all come back in again.

"It's bad short term, but good long term, (because it) puts silt back in the water for the prawns to eat."


© ABC 2013

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