Velvet Prawns (Metapenaeopsis Spp) of Torres Strait, Queensland, Australia

R. A. Watson, J. Keating, (1989). Asian Fish. Sci 3, 45-56.

The velvet shrimps, Metapenaeopsis rosea (Racek and Dall 1965) and M. palmensis (HasweIl1879), form a large part of penaeid shrimp catches from Torres Strait, Queensland, Australia, and are caught from 5 to 30 mm carapace length. Recruitment to the fishery occurs annually in January to March and abundance is greatest during May to October. Females are first found mature at 12 mm carapace length and spawning occurs year-round with peaks in April, July and October. Males begin to mature at 5 mm carapace length and all have joined petasmas by 9 mm carapace length. M. rosea males are heavier than their female counterparts at any given carapace length and no difference was found between male and female M. palmensis. Male and female M. rosea were heavier than those of M. palmensis at the same length. Until recently catches of these species were discarded but increasingly those of larger sizes are retained and marketed.