Haven’t got your spot prawn fix in yet? It might be trickier -and costlier – than usual this season. The Globe and Mail reports that Vancouver restaurants are re-evaluating serving these delicacies, as prices are proving too high for many chefs to justify on their menus. In a typical season, buyers who work for large seafood companies in Japan and China show up on docks the day the fishery opens and haggle for a low price. This year, however, they offered to pay more than usual.
What’s changed? A disease called Early Mortality Syndrome has wiped out Asia’s farm-raised tiger prawn industry, increasing the global demand for spot prawns. While 2013 prices were at $14-15 dollars per pound, they are now up to $17-$20 locally – or $35 per pound if you want them in Toronto.