The first GIANT PRAWN Conference (GIANT PRAWN 1980) was organised by Michael New in 1980 for the Thai Department of Fisheries and took place in the original Erewan Hotel in Bangkok. At that time Michael was working for the FAO as a co-manager of an UNDP supported project aimed at expanding the farming of freshwater prawns as an emerging aquaculture industry. GIANT PRAWN 1980, for the first time, brought together all those involved in freshwater prawn research and farming and set many priorities for future research and development. A comprehensive volume of proceedings that summarised the latest research on Macrobrachium at that time was published by Elsevier.

In 2003 another major Macrobrachium conference (FRESHWATER PRAWN 2003) was organised by C. Mohanakumaran Nair at the College of Fisheries, Kerala Agricultural University, Kochi, the southern Indian city in the State of Kerala. Michael New presented the keynote address in this Conference. This meeting was attended by nearly 500 delegates from all over the world and was a major boost for freshwater prawn farming development in India. Selected papers from this conference were published as a special edition of the international journal, Aquaculture Research. Full proceedings of the meeting were also published by Allied Publishers, New Delhi, India.

In 2011 Michael collaborated with Kerala Agricultural University in India and the World Aquaculture Society to organise the GIANT PRAWN 2011, a second GIANT PRAWN conference, which was also held in Kochi. This event was held in conjunction with Asian Pacific Aquaculture 2011, the annual conference of the World Aquaculture Society - Asia Pacific Chapter. Selected papers from this conference were also published as a special volume of the Journal Aquaculture Research.

There have also been a few other conferences dedicated to freshwater prawns held in several international venues including China, Malaysia, Mexico, Vietnam, and so on.