The prawn season in the Gulf of Carpentaria extends from March to June. Prawn catch is related to the amount of rainfall. Mature prawns require a saline environment. With the advent of heavy wet-season rainfall, salinity in the rivers where the prawns breed is lowered, and they are forced to migrate offshore. Once offshore the prawns may be harvested. If wet-season rainfall is very low, then fewer prawns leave the rivers, leading to a low catch. The relationship between the SOI and rainfall in this region means that there is a significant relationship between the SOI in November and the subsequent prawn catch (Love, 1987). Low values of the SOI lead to a lower than normal catch.
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