Freshwater prawns were farmed in Hawaii on a large scale in the past. By 1976, 14 prawn farms produced 19,500 kg of product. Later farmers turned to marine shrimp farming. Today, there is an abundant supply of Pacific white shrimp on the market. Some consumers want to try something different than shrimp. Hawaii freshwater prawns taste like lobsters and have an exotic appearance. It can be marketed as an appetizer item or a co-entry item. It could also be sold through lunch trucks.
Currently the wholesale price for prawns is about $16 per pound and up. The live prawns are sold at $26.99 per pound in Mauna Kea Market in Chinatown.
Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture & Livestock Support Services wants to hold a prawn training workshop on Oahu and in Hilo to train a new generation of prawn farmers. The workshop is free for Hawaii residents. The training will be hands-on. The approximate starting date of the workshop is late September or October.
Please email Liz Xu at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. You can also call her at 483-7130.