It's been 50 years since prawning became a major industry in the Top End and it feels like at least that long since you could do it commercially in this kind of getup. It all began with a two-year survey of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Even though the crew encountered "more cyclones, crocodile hunters and pirates than prawns" in the first year, they still had a major haul of banana prawns and the catches got better from there. Proved to be a goer, the Commonwealth then called for expressions of interest to operate fleets and factories as part of a push to develop northern Australia (sound familiar?). The fleet numbered at least 200 by 1970. There you go, a brief history.
Image: Northern Territory Government Photographer Slide Collection, Northern Territory Library
Published: 7 October 2018