High in protein, low in fat and with the coveted ‘umami’ taste New Caledonian blue prawns are fast becoming the must have addition to the daily diet. 

Named because of the brilliant blue colour in their tails they come from the same genus (family) as the giant tiger prawn (Penaeus Stylirostris) it is the only French prawn to be recognised as ‘sashimi’ in Japan. 

Société des Producteurs Aquacoles Caledoniens (SOPAC) is a society formed in 1994 to unite the entire body of stakeholders in the sector, from hatcheries to distributors. 

In fact, this very rare blue prawn is only produced in the world’s largest lagoon which is has been a listed UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008. 

SOPAC’s prime objective of ensuring the supreme quality of blue prawns from New Caledonia. 

They nurture their prawns to excellent quality in the pure, temperate waters of New Caledonia’s exceptional natural lagoon environment which is protected by a 1,600 km long barrier reef. 

SOPAC Director Hélène Artufel says their blue prawn is highly appreciated by top chefs for its rich and subtle flavour. 

“It’s a truly unique taste – slightly sweet, iodised taste, and with a firm but juicy texture.” 

The SOPAC blue prawn is bred by only a dozen producers on the island. 

“We produce it in very low quantities, in basins with natural beds, using nonaggressive traditional methods. It is a true delicacy,” she says. 

SOPAC is the second largest employer in the region, employing more than 900 locals who live on the island’s rural coastline. This means that SOPAC is crucial to the economic development of New Caledonia. 

However, this does not mean over taxing the prawn or the environment. 

Product traceability and food safety have always been at the heart of SOPAC’s concerns.  

In addition, SOPAC works alongside local tribes to ensure their production and harvesting practices are environmentally conscious. For thirty years, the company has been committed to sustainable development. 

SOPAC’s mission is to provide exceptional prawns for customers around the world. 

The quality of the blue shrimp has been recognised globally and SOPAC offers a variety of quality levels, sizes, and packaging options, marketed under different brands. 

  • Obsiblue – tailored for chefs internationally and of the highest calibre in quality 
  • Cristal Blue – premium quality shrimps, available in all sizes to the public 
  • Tenshi No Ebi – sold exclusively in the Japanese market 
  • Crevette SOPAC – by local dealers and in major chain stores 

Quick facts:

  • high protein 
  • low fat  
  • antibiotic free 
  • non-GMO  
  • sustainable farming 
  • regular environmental impact assessments 

The total annual production is around 1,300 tons of which around 65% has been exported to Japan for more than 20 years.  

All export is sashimi-grade and is mostly consumed raw, but they also keep their crunchy texture and sweetish taste when cooked carefully. Ideally, the prawns should be kept “blue” inside. 

Get in Touch 

If you are a wholesaler or distributor and would like to know more, you can sign up for our product catalogue. Or let our Trade Development Team assist you with your enquiries – 

Trade Development Manager – Aude Douyere – aude.d@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz 

Trade Development Officer – Riley Birtwistle –  riley.b@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz 

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