The US has lifted its ban on wild prawns from Queensland and Western Australia that was introduced in 1996 because nets used to catch prawns were also catching turtles.

The ban has been lifted after the US was satisfied that all Queensland trawlers now use approved nets, reported ABC News.

Duncan Souter, from the Queensland Seafood Industry Association, said the increase in sales would justify environment improvements made to equipment over the last few years.

“At the end of the day it’s not going to make commercial fishermen millionaires overnight; but what it does is make the markets more robust, so that if you have a SARS or a currency crisis or something like that in traditional markets, the opening up of the US market gives us an additional markets with which to export prawns,” Souter was quoted by ABC News as saying.