Assessing production of giant freshwater prawns in reservoirs in Sri Lanka

Project code
AUD 249,490
Research program manager
Prof Ann Fleming
Project leader
Dr Clive Jones, James Cook University
Commissioned organisation
James Cook University
OCT 2017
SEP 2019
Project status
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This project aimed to conduct research on aspects of the current stock and recapture strategy of giant freshwater prawn in reservoirs in the north, eastern and south eastern regions of Sri Lanka with a view to improving the overall yields and fisher family/ community incomes that will contribute to the long term sustainability of the practice.

This project has provided important information concerning the status of the Sri Lankan giant freshwater prawn culture based fishery and the efficacy of current management practices, revealing significant knowledge gaps that must be addressed to achieve effective management and optimised production and outcomes for the reservoir communities.

Culture-based fisheries (CBF) for finfish species have provided social and economic benefits to rural communities in Sri Lanka for several decades, and access to much needed dietary protein for the people. The recent addition of giant freshwater prawns (GFP) (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) to CBF in many reservoirs has provided even greater economic and social benefit, as the prawns are of high value and are destined for Colombo restaurants and export.

The project has provided important opportunity to develop an effective network among fisheries communities through the respective fisheries societies and researchers to gather data and initiate preliminary research activities to more fully understand the fishery dynamics of GFP in reservoirs and the knowledge gaps that should be addressed to achieve effective management of GFP fisheries to optimise benefits to rural Sri Lankan communities.

Key partners
Pisces Ltd
University of Sri Lanka
National Aquaculture Development Authority
University of Ruhuna