History

1699 English explorer William Dampier discovers and names Shark Bay
   
1850s Pearling industry establishes itself, peaking in 1870s
   
1930s First freezers are built in the area, allowing commercial fishing industry to establish itself over the fading pearling industry. Before this, Shark Bay had been too remote to supply fish in commercial quantities
   
1950s Survey work discovers large quantities of King Prawns and Tiger Prawns
   
1962 Shark Bay Prawn Fishery created. Sophisticated and detailed management practices established to protect Fishery. Fishers voluntarily keep log books detailing catch and effort
   
Late 1960s Department of Fisheries begins detailed research and monitoring of the fishery
   
1976 Fishery had quickly expanded to peak fleet of 35 boats, catching 1511 tonnes of King and 771 tonnes of Tiger prawn
   
1981 Peak catch for the fishery of 2370 tonnes recorded (2014 tonnes of King and 324 tonnes of Tiger Prawn)
   
1980s Average annual catches of Tiger Prawn decline from 649 tonnes per annum to 303 tonnes per annum
   
1990 An industry funded buy back scheme was introduced, reducing the number of boats to 27. Tiger Prawn catches return to acceptable levels
   
1991 Shark Bay inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List. It is one of only a handful of places on earth meeting all four of 'natural' criteria for listing
   
2003 All vessels fitted with mandatory biocatch reduction devices
   
2003 Shark Bay Prawn Fishery Environmental Sustainability Development report completed
   
2005 Three year Biodiversity Conservation Study completed
   
2010 Shark Bay Prawn Fishery Fisheries Management Report completed
   
2011 to date Shark Bay Prawn Fishery website launched
  Shark Bay Wild brand registered and is the provenance for all Shark Bay Prawn Producers
  Shark Bay Wild is now to be featured by Producers and launched in conjunction with the Love Australian Prawns campaign
  In June 2014 The Shark Bay Prawn Fishery will be fully assessed against the MSC standards for certiification of its Western King Prawn and Brown Tiger Prawn.