Dive Deeper Into The
Life Of Our Prawns
We’re on a mission here at The Happy Prawn Co. We like to think we’re doing our bit to change the world – one prawn at a time! Ours isn’t the only journey we want to tell you about though.
Here, you’ll see the journey our hand-reared prawns take from the waters of Indonesia to the dining tables of the world.
1 Net Gain
The journey begins with a band of local fishermen, who use traditional fishing methods handed down through the generations to catch wild, gravid broodstock at sea – these are the mother tiger prawns carrying eggs.
The broodstock are caught locally by placing small nets along the bay, before being sent to a hatchery owned by the prawn farming community for spawning. This provides extra income for the fishermen, in addition to their daily catch.
And just like that, the cycle of smiles begins.
2 Happy Hatching
At the hatchery, each broodstock spawns around 600,000 eggs. These eggs are nurtured in rearing tanks until they are 12 days old, and are constantly monitored for their health and wellbeing. At harvest time, the baby prawns (post larvae) are then sold to the local IPUKAN farmers, with proceeds from the sale helping to pay the hatchery workers.
The welfare of the broodstock is very important to us. We do not practice eyestalk ablation, as we find this type of method cruel and inhumane. So, a couple of days after spawning, the broodstock is returned to the sea unharmed.
3 Prepping The Post Larvae
The IPUKAN farmers look after the post larvae for a further 10 to 15 days in small ponds called IPUKAN (now you know how the farmers got their name). This is an important step, because it’s here that the young prawns are acclimatised to the specific farm environment they’ll be sent to next. Every farm is different, so we want to make sure the post larvae are happy in their new home.
When the post larvae are 25 days old, they are finally ready for the prawn farms, so they’re popped into oxygenated bags and carefully transported.
4 Testing The Waters
While the post larvae are with the IPUKAN farmers, the ponds at the prawn farms are being prepared for their arrival. These ponds, 100% soil based and around one metre deep, are left for two weeks while the naturally occurring food grows.
During this time, a culture of seaweed (‘Ganggang’) grows on the surface of the pond, which is later taken out and spread along the pond’s dykes with mangrove leaves. When this mixture dries and decomposes, it is then piled onto wooden poles in the pond and left exposed to the sun.
As it dries out further, the heap breaks down and dissipates into the pond’s water to form a powder-like mixture (‘Dadak’), creating a perfect environment for plankton and food to grow, and in turn, providing 100% natural feed for our prawns.
They can’t wait to get stuck in!
5 Natural Growth
On arrival at the prawn farms, the post larvae are released into spacious ponds lined with lush, natural mangroves. With the low stocking density of just one or two post larvae per 1m², the young prawns have plenty of room to live and grow for 110 days in a stress free and peaceful environment, ducking and diving in the mud, and feasting on the pond’s naturally occurring food.
We take the welfare of our prawns very seriously, and it’s important to us they’re happy in their environment. So there’s no antibiotics, chemicals or artificial feed anywhere in sight - just the pond’s natural biomass and those mangroves, which balance the pond’s eco-system and in turn, help the prawns grow bigger and stronger.
They’re great for the environment too, mangroves. That’s why we have set up projects dedicated to planting more, both at the farms and right along the coastline.
6 Fair Deal
After almost four months in the pond, the prawns are harvested, ice-packed for freshness and sent to a factory established by the prawn farming community.
Everybody knows that farmers tend to get a raw deal when selling their produce, but with The Happy Prawn Co., they receive fair reward for their hard work, time and patience.
7 High Standards
When the prawns arrive at the factory straight after harvest, they are prepared and processed by local workers, providing a livelihood to yet another facet of the community.
Standards here are high. The factory adheres to strict guidelines when it comes to food safety and hygiene. Every stage of the production process is monitored and recorded to ensure the product is produced to the best possible quality.
Working conditions are top-notch too and we regularly conduct ethical audits. After all, we couldn’t call it The Happy Prawn Co. without a content workforce!
8 Smiles All Round
When the prawns land on your dining table, it’s a great feeling to know that everyone involved along the way is left with a smile on their face. And it’s also great to know that the sustainable cycle we’ve put in place is about to start all over again, as the fishermen take their boats out to catch the next batch of broodstock.
All that’s left is to give you that warm glow of happiness too, and that comes the very moment you eat our prawns!