The Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards recognise and reward the seafood industry’s top achievers across 14 key categories. Held biennially since 1996, the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards showcase the Australian seafood industry, its value to the national economy, its professionalism, and its commitment to supplying some of the finest seafood in the world to local, national and international markets.
To celebrate these achievements, 180 guests gathered at the Australian National Maritime Museum with the Hon. Adam Marshall, Minister for Agriculture and Minister Western NSW, who presented the awards, joined by celebrity chef Adam Liaw, acting as MC for the event.
Congratulations to all the finalists and winners and thank you to our sponsors whose generosity ensures we can host a high-quality event that reflects the efforts of the nominees and broader industry.
The winners and highly commended recipients of Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards are:
Best Seafood Retailer
Pittwater Seafood is located in Mona Vale on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Pittwater Seafood prides its self on only supplying Australian and New Zealand fresh produce, purchased directly from Sydney Fish Market. Considering Pittwater Seafood has only been operating for a small time it has a great reputation for quality seafood and great service.
Seafood Business Award
Coffs Harbour Fishermen’s Co-op
The Coffs Harbour Fishermen's Co-operative prides itself on providing year-round access to premium, sustainable, local seafood to the Coffs Coast and beyond through a booming retail trade. It has a large fresh retail display, a takeaway shop, and a wholesale outlet that delivers premium seafood to our local upmarket restaurants & cafes.
Professional Fishermen’s Association
The Professional Fishermen's Association of NSW are at the forefront on safety promotion within the fishing industry. Raising awareness of safety issues within the industry and providing support to fishers in ensuring compliance with safety requirements. The PFA was the instigator for the FRDC funded project which identified the barriers to the adoption of work, health, safety management systems and equipment in the commercial fishing industry. This project saw the PFA holding workshops across NSW for research teams to talk with fishers about their safety and safety needs.
Highly Commended: Sydney Fish Market
People Development Award
OceanWatch Australia’s Master Fishermen Program
OceanWatch Australia works with the seafood industry and the community to ensure Australia’s marine environment is healthy, productive, valued and used in a responsible way. Their Master Fisherman program is designed to improve and recognise the knowledge, skills, experience and professionalism of participating fishermen, promote the sustainability of our fresh, local seafood and provide information to consumers to help them value locally produced seafood.
Young Achiever Award
Joshua Cook, Coffs Harbour Fishermen’s Co-op
Joshua Cook, or "Cookie" to everyone in Coffs Harbour, has an obvious and infectious passion for all things seafood. In spite of his youth, he has worked in every area related to the preparation and promotion of seafood. After working as a chef at Coffs Harbour's leading seafood restaurants for over a decade, the Co-op was grateful to have him lead their fresh seafood retail operations before moving into distribution, cooking demonstrations, tours, seafood receiving, and back into overall retail operations. Cookie has a deep and passionate knowledge of seafood, and is a popular public face of the Co-op.
Highly Commended: Alex Tucker, Little River
Commercial Fishermen’s Co-operative Ltd
Commercial Fishermen's Co-op has been the driving sponsor to develop the Love Seafood Love Port Stephens Festival. The inaugural event in 2016, Organised by Destination Port Stephens, supported by CFCL, DPI Fisheries, Sydney Fish Market & Port Stephens Council is now in its fourth year and growing each year. Born out of the devastation of the contamination from the Dept Of Defence Base in and around Port Stephens and the Hunter River, industry needed promotion to drive its message of safe, local seafood.Local Fishers, and aquaculture, needed public support to continue to espouse the reputation and add value to local fishing and aquaculture.
Highly Commended: Professional Fishermen’s Association
Research Development and Extension Award
Kate Barclay, University of Technology Sydney
Kate’s award is for her work in a two-year research project funded by the FRDC and its research partners: the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Wollongong, ENVision Consulting and Western Research Institute.The research was aimed at evaluating the wide-ranging social and economic contributions that the commercial wild-catch fishing industry makes to NSW coastal communities. Kate's work has been essential in the continual debate amongst stakeholders about the allocation of resources and the importance of the seafood industry's contribution to the NSW community and economy.
Highly Commended: Matt Taylor, NSW Department of Primary Industries
Best Seafood Retailer at Sydney Fish Market
Claudio’s Quality Seafood
It’s a competitive environment at Sydney Fish Market so congratulations to Claudio’s for taking out People’s Choice for the third consecutive time. Since opening their doors 30 years ago, Claudios have gone from just eight employees to 60, selling more than 100 seafood varieties and distributing to 250 restaurants across Sydney.
Best Seafood Restaurant
Fins Seafood Restaurant Pty Ltd
After 28 years of trade, Fins proudly never follows any "trends". Fins is and has always been about sustainable local seafood. The ocean to plate concept has been the foundation of their philosophy since day one. Fins chef 'Snowy' only sources whole fish and seafood and they find a purpose for every part. Prawn heads for stock, tuna bones are scraped for sashimi, fish skins are crisped into wafers, wings and heads go into stocks. They love bycatch and introducing customers to lesser known and plentiful species (Ocean Jacket being a favourite). Fins is a seafood institution.
Best Fish and Chips Award
People’s Choice: Pelican Rocks Restaurant and Cafe
Best Judged: Pelican Rocks Restaurant and Cafe
Pelican Rocks Café won both the People’s Choice and judged Fish and Chip Award. They have won both awards previously but this is the first time they’ve taken out both Awards in the same year. Pelican Rocks Café are based in Greenwell Point on the South Coast of NSW. They are right across from where the boats land and pride themselves on fresh fish including Luderick, Blue Grenadier, Ocean Jacket and Flathead.
Star of the Sea
Bryan Skepper, Sydney Fish Market
SFM's General Manager, Bryan Skepper was awarded the most prestigious accolade of the evening, Star of the Sea. The Award, which signifies significant contribution to the NSW seafood industry, recognised Skepper’s commitment to sustainability and his long list of achievements during his 44-year tenure at Sydney Fish Market.
For more information please visit seafoodexcellenceawards.com.au