Gold Coast seafood importer fined for prawn scam

A Gold Coast-based seafood importer has been fined a total of $55,000 after a Gold Coast Health investigation found it had sold imported prawns from Asia as Australian King Prawns.

Pacifica Trading and the director of the company Carmelo Comi pleaded guilty to five offences in the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday – with the company fined $45,000 and its director an additional $10,000.

Gold Coast Health had received an anonymous tip off about the company’s deliberately mis-leading behaviour in February 2016. A subsequent investigation found the company had sold 330kg of vannamei imported prawns – falsely labelled as a ‘Product of Australia’ – to two of the Gold Coast’s top restaurants and resorts. An additional 5kg carton of the imported prawns were found in Pacifica Trading’s freezers.


Gold Coast Health’s Senior Environmental Health Officer Sheryl Hurst said it was important that food businesses didn’t engage in illegal practices, and warned other local businesses against doing anything similar.

“The public can have confidence knowing that Gold Coast Health is prepared to prosecute food businesses found doing the wrong thing and deceiving customers,” she said.