“The goals of the spot prawn festivals are to highlight an environmentally sound and locally sourced product and to remind us that farmers markets don’t stop at the waters edge.” The Chefs’ Table Society of B.C.

Behind this declaration lies a stark market truth. Spot prawns are a seasonal delicacy in B.C. and the influx of farm-raised Asian prawns into our grocery stores over the past decade or so have posed a threat to the local fishery. The Asian variety are available year round and they are generally cheaper. But even 10 years ago, the intensive farming being done on the shorelines of Asian countries to meet world demand were killing whole swaths of seabed. The dead areas were becoming so large that they could be seen by satellites high above the earth. Those who actually went out to see such farms in operation were appalled at the filth and destruction left behind when farms could no longer be productive and had to move on to cleaner waters. In short, such production just isn’t sustainable. (And, by the way, if you’ve ever tasted a local prawn next to an imported, farmed specimen, you’ll never go back to the import.) (more…)