UK - Ascending UK Prawn Farms Now Riding Out the Coronavirus Storm
Despite the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19, the UK’s two commercial shrimp farming ventures continue to capitalize on the market’s growing demand for trustworthy, locally produced food
Brits love shrimp. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. In the United Kingdom, the word “shrimp” tends to refer to the small brown species Crangon crangon, which is common to the country’s coasts. As delicious as these are, the shrimp most coveted by U.K. consumers are better known in the market as “prawns,” mainly comprising the sweet, coldwater Pandalus borealis, caught in the Barents Sea and fisheries around Iceland, Greenland and northern Canada, and also the larger, widely farmed warmwater white-legged and black tiger varieties, Penaeus vannamei and Penaeus monodon, respectively.
Collectively, U.K. retail sales of these crustaceans top 180,000 metric tons (MT), generating more than £500 million ($637 million, €561 million). A similarly large volume is sold through the country’s foodservice channels.
The coldwater prawn has long been a market staple, while the tropical varieties – both identified as “king prawns” – are much more recent arrivals. And yet the latter’s far greater availability and considerable versatility has made them a firm favorite throughout the country.