AN OCEAN ‘drought’ has made Christmas seafood hard to catch, but Gympie region suppliers say there is plenty in their freezers for consumers to buy this festive season.
And prices are reportedly within reason, unless you want mudcrabs, which are fetching stratospheric prices on metropolitan markets – more than $200 a crab in capital cities and major resort centres.
But the good news is delicious bugs, sandcrabs and prawns are going for about the same prices as last year, with some excellent bargains in North Queensland Endeavour prawns.
“And we’ve got plenty of oysters,” Unreel Seafoods proprietor Ivan Jensen said at his roadside fridge van at Southside yesterday.
Tin Can Bay’s Lee Fishing Company manager Peter Lee reported “plenty of fresh local king prawns and Endeavour prawns from North Queensland.”
Sandcrabs and Moreton Bay bugs were also in good supply, but mudcrabs are harder to find.
City Seafood Supply’s Jane Gaudern reported “lovely prawns for Christmas, beautiful bugs and lots of fresh oysters.”
“We haven’t had the rain to flush the creeks out for prawns, but we’ve got plenty of good supplies for Christmas,” she said.
For value, Mr Jensen recommends Endeavour prawns at $95 for a 5kg box – “until they’re all gone.”
“Mudcrabs are a little hard to get and very expensive, but we have plenty of bugs and sandcrabs.
“We’ve got Double Island bugs, absolutely unique with a slightly garlic taste. And you can only catch them at D.I.,” he said.
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