Join us at the 3rd Annual Okanagan Spot Prawn Festival May 25th to June 2nd
The Okanagan is proud to support our local BC Spot Prawn fishermen and celebrate the Spot Prawn harvest season. Dine out during the festival at participating restaurants and enjoy spot prawn creations from the Okanagan’s best chefs. Read more about the festival and what to expect here.
Events include Tinhorn Creek Winery’s Miradoro Restaurant long table spot prawn dinner and Codfather’s Seafood market ‘straight off the boat’ spot prawn BBQ.
Try them at home with fabulous recipe suggestions compiled by local cookbook author, Jennifer Schell.
End the festival with the signature event the Spot Prawn Extravaganza at Manteo Resort Smack DAB restaurant on Sunday, June 2nd with Okanagan chefs battling to win Best Spot Prawn dish, accompanied with local Okanagan wines.
Profits from the Spot Prawn Festival will be donated to both the Okanagan Chef’s Association and Ocean Wise.
Be sure to listen to the podcast where Rebecca from CBC Radio speaks with participant, Jon Crofts from Codfathers to find out more about Spot Prawns and the festival!
Spot Prawn Sponsors
About Spot Prawns
Wild BC Spot Prawns are a delicacy known around the world for their sweet, delicate flavour and firm texture. They are most recognizable for their reddish brown colour, which turns bright pink when cooked, defining white spots on their tail and white horizontal bars on the carapace.
Wild BC Spot Prawns are the largest of the seven commercial species of shrimp found on the west coast of Canada. They vary greatly in size, with some larger females exceeding 23 cm in total length. Wild BC Spot Prawns are hermaphrodites: for the first two years of their lives they are males, and then they change to females. Typically, the prawns live a total of four years.
In BC approximately 2,450 metric tonnes are harvested annually, with about 65% of the harvest coming from the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
Wild BC Spot Prawns are available live during the harvest season, which usually starts in May and lasts anywhere from six to eight weeks. Prawn fishermen spread baited traps along the rocky ocean floor at depths ranging from 40 to 100 metres. This method has minimal impact on ocean habitat and very low levels of bycatch of other species.
Wild BC Spot Prawns are very popular in Japan and the rest of Asia, with over 90% of BC’s commercial catch consumed there. Most of the prawns are frozen at sea by fishermen, and then packed and exported across the Pacific. The remaining few, however, are available to be enjoyed fresh in local BC restaurants and kitchens during the fishing season! Frozen spot prawns are also available in Canada year round.
Spot prawn stocks are carefully and sustainably managed to ensure that they remain available to enjoy for many years to come, including:
- Limiting the number of vessels that can commercially harvest spot prawns
- Limiting the number of traps that can be used
- Returning females with eggs live to the ocean
- Monitoring the spot prawn population and closing the fishery when prawn stocks approach a pre-determined level
More information on the Wild BC Spot Prawn can be found here.