High demand, long lineups predicted as BC spot prawn season set to begin

Spot prawn 'high' nears

A long lineup is no surprise during Steveston’s spot prawn season, but local restaurants are still anticipating a “crazy” year with some even calling it a “spot prawn high.”

Every year, spot prawn season gathers seafood fans during the months of May and June – and Steveston is one of the hotspots.

This year, vessels will start selling on May 15, and the Steveston Harbour Authority is working together with the City of Richmond and Vancouver Coastal Health to implement new guidelines for the anticipated busy season.

There will be a one-way foot traffic area at Fisherman’s Wharf on Friday, Saturday and Sundays for the first two weeks of the spot prawn season as well as signs telling people where they need to line up.

Shane Dagan, owner of Steveston Seafood House, one of many restaurants in the village, said the spot prawn season always brings crowds, and this year he is more excited than ever.

“I know we aren’t really looking for crowds this time, but this year I think it’ll be an even busier season because everybody is at home,” said Dagan, adding that many people often leave town during May and June.

“We’re excited a lot of locals can experience (it) more this year and by having them close to home, they can enjoy the season.”

Like every business, Dagan’s restaurant was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. However, he was able to build and open up a backyard patio in time for spot prawn season.

“We’ve had to adapt to the restrictions so many times and the spot prawn season was one of many factors we rushed the patio work.”

Meanwhile, Steveston Spot Prawn, a multi-family fishing business, is participating in their sixth spot prawn season this year and is expecting a busier dock and more orders compared to last year.

“Last year was astronomical. It was the best fishing we’ve had, the longest lineups at the docks we’ve had, and we’re expecting the same, if not better, this year,” said Stylianou.

“It’s like a spot prawn high, people line up as early as 6:30 a.m. during the first week of the season sometimes.”

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