King Prawn

prawn king
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit50


possession limit100


boat limit-

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.

Other names

sand prawn, eastern king prawn

Scientific name

Melicertus plebejus

Grows to

Up to

6cm carapace length

Identifying features

​A transparent cream to yellow colour with a distinctive groove that runs the length of the carapace. The legs are usually a light orange or yellow and tips of the tail fin are blue with brown stripes on the edges.


Young prawns can be found in sheltered bays and estuaries during spring and summer and adults are found out to the continental shelf at depths up to 200 metres.

Fishing information

In Tasmania, prawns occur in small amounts primarily around the north east of Tasmania in estuaries such as Ansons Bay and Georges Bay. Usually taken at night when they are most active using a dip net or landing net with a light.

Public Health advice

Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the Department of Health and Human Services at or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.


Excellent eating. Prawns can be cooked in their shell or peeled. Suitable cooking methods are deep frying, stir-frying, sautéing or barbequeing. Raw prawns are highly perishable and should not be kept for more than 1-2 days in the refrigerator. To prepare for cooking, remove the head by twisting it away from the body. Then remove shell from tail and devein by making a shallow incision down the back with a knife. Lift out the intestinal tract.

Recipe: Garlic Prawns:

500g green prawns, shelled but with tail on; 4 tbsp butter; 4 tbsp oil; 2 tsp lemon juice; 4-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped; 1 tsp salt; ¼ tsp chilli powder (optional); black pepper, parsley.

Heat 4 individual ovenproof dishes in oven at 250°C for 10 minutes. Heat butter, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, chilli powder and pepper in a saucepan until sizzling. Place equal amounts in preheated dishes and add prawns. Return to oven for about 3-5 mins depending on size of prawns. Served sprinkled with parsley together with hot crusty bread.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

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Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550


Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550