Shrimp/PrawnSpot prawn


  • Latin name: 
    Pandalus platyceros
  • Seafood type: Shrimp/Prawn
  • Harvest method: Trap
  • Region: California
  • Wild/Farmed: 
Not Recommended

Spot prawn

(Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium)
Sustainable alternatives: 
Spot prawns harvested from BC are a sustainable seafood alternative.
Sustainability concerns: 
Management of the spot prawns is either minimal or ineffective. Little is known about the stock status.
Spot prawns are found from Baja California to the Gulf of Alaska. They are the largest of the cold-water shrimp species.
Life History and Population Status: 
Spot prawns are quick-growing and short-lived with high reproductive output. These characteristics make them resilient to fishing pressure. Populations vary considerably with changing environmental conditions. Alaskan spot prawns are considered to be overfished, while the Oregon spot prawns are fully-fished. The status of the California and Washington spot prawns is unknown.
Spot prawns are managed by state. Although stock status is monitored in Alaska, and regulations are enforced, the effectiveness of the management plan is questionable, since the spot prawns are overfished and decreases in body size have been recorded. Management in California, Oregon and Washington is minimal.
Impact on Other Species: 
As spot prawns are caught using pot traps, there is little concern of bycatch, as any non-targeted species can be released live. In the past, there was some concern over the amount of bycatch being caught by trawl in California, but the use of trawl was phased out in 2003.
Habitat and Ecosystem Impacts: 
Although pot traps can cause moderate damage to the rocky hardbottom environment where the spot prawn are found, if the traps are hauled in at both ends, lifting them vertically, this causes much less damage to the seabed.


  • No or little concern in this area.
  • Significant concern in this area.
  • Area under study.