SFM News

2009 Seafood Excellence Awards – An Event Not To Be Missed!


On Saturday, 14 March Sydney Fish Market will host the 2009 Seafood Excellence Awards in the illustrious surrounds of the Star City Grand Ballroom. Highlighting the outstanding achievements of Australia’s world class seafood industry, the Seafood Excellence Awards will be an event not to miss, with special guest celebrity hosts, a five-star menu, world class live entertainment and the who’s who of the Australian seafood and hospitality industries.


Sydney Fish Market is delighted to be working with 2008 Good Food Guide Chef of the Year Sean Connelly of Astral Restaurant to create a scrumptious culinary experience for the Awards. Sean was GQ Chef of the Year 2008; ‘Chef of the Year’ at the 2006 and 2007 Australian Hotels Association Awards for Excellence and under Sean’s guidance Astral Restaurant has received a chef’s hat at both the 2007 and 2008 Good Food Guide Awards. Thanks to Sean, guests at the Seafood Excellence Awards will be treated to a never seen before, de-constructed prawn cocktail as a feature entree along with sashimi of Ocean Trout, Kingfish, Yellowfin Tuna, fresh wasabi leaves and soy and mirin jelly. This lavish menu will follow on from champagne and canapés including a new Beechwood smoked salmon; which will be served courtesy of Tassal’s Pure Tasmanian smoked salmon.


Building on previous winners including Pier Rose Bay, Fins at Bryon Bay, Tetsuya’s Restaurant, Christie’s Seafoods, Bub’s at Nelson Bay, Wallis Lake Fisherman’s Co-operative and George Costi, the Seafood Excellence Awards will offer an exciting array of nominees across all categories recognising top performers in Australia’s seafood industry. No aspect of the State’s vibrant seafood trade will go unnoticed, with fourteen awards ranging from Excellence in Environmental Practice, Seafood Business, and Best Seafood Restaurant, to the People’s Choice Awards for Best Fish and Chips (Sydney and regional).


The Seafood Excellence Awards will be open to the general public, with a limited number of seats available and tickets selling fast! For further information and tickets go to the Seafood Excellence Awards website www.seafoodexcellenceawards.com.au.



Christmas at SFM

Sydney Fish Market (SFM) once again played a huge part in helping Sydney celebrate the festive season by hosting its annual 36 hour Christmas trade. From 5am, 23 December through to 5pm, 24 December, SFM was positively buzzing with the familiar stampede of Christmas shoppers keen to secure their fresh Christmas seafood from the home of Sydney’s freshest seafood.


The Christmas festivities kicked off on Monday, 22 December when Santa flew in by helicopter to deliver pressies, candy canes and Christmas cheer to a team of excited kids. Landing on the SFM Fishermen’s Wharf, Santa brought huge smiles to the faces of children and parents alike, while media from Channel 9 and livenews.com.au scrambled for footage of the event as well as interviews with Louise Nock, SFM’s Marketing & Communications Manager.


Focus then turned to the 36 hour trade event, with SFM staff working long and hard behind the scenes to ensure that the traditional Christmas extravaganza went off without a hitch. The services of the NSW Police were also employed to conduct point duty at major intersections into the site. Traffic flow was also greatly assisted this year by the procurement of additional parking at Sydney Secondary College, Blackwattle Campus on Pyrmont Bridge Road, a mere 2 minutes walk from SFM. This ensured that, with two major car parks available, customers flowed easily into and out of SFM. 


SFM was once again supported by Metro Lightrail, who agreed to operate continuously throughout the 36 hour trade period, with the Lightrail arriving at Sydney Fish Market’s very own station to drop off/pick up SFM customers every 10 minutes.  


Favourable mild weather and fantastic availability of seafood species ensured that huge numbers flocked down to SFM this Christmas, with a real festive atmosphere created by the bustling crowds, busy retail outlets and constant whirr of media onsite.


Major television network channels 7, 9 and 10, radio stations 2Day FM, Triple M, Nova 96.9, Vega FM and the ABC and print media, including The Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald all visited SFM during the 36 hour trade to report on one of Sydney’s true festive season events.


Highlighting the media interest during this time was Channel Nine’s ‘Today Show’, who conducted live crosses every half hour from 6am on Christmas Eve from different locations onsite, including Christies Seafoods, Claudio’s Quality Seafoods, Blackwattle Deli, Peter’s Fish Market and finished up with an on-air demonstration of seafood barbecuing with Sydney Seafood School demonstrator Brigid Treloar.


In 2008 SFM enjoyed its most successful 36 hour Christmas trade event in recent years, with retailer sales up 15% and customer patronage at an all time high. Nearly 120,000 dozen Oysters, 200 tonnes of Snapper and 170 tonnes of Prawns were sold.







SFM Help Launch Fish Names Brand Scheme Website

On 19 December 2008, Sydney Fish Market (SFM) hosted an event to launch a website which will assist Australian families with their seafood purchasing decisions like never before.


Held on SFM’s Pontoon Wharf and attended by The Hon. Tony Burke, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the launch was the latest chapter in the development of the Approved Fish Names brand scheme, an initiative which defines one standard fish name for each seafood specie produced or traded in Australia.


Developed by Seafood Services Australia’s National Fish Names Committee, the Scheme is the result of over 6 years work by fisheries managers, seafood experts, consumer representatives and other stakeholders. The final list encompasses over 4,500 seafood species.


Adopted by Standards Australia as an official Australian Standard in July 2007, the Scheme’s consumer website lists seafood shops, restaurants and supermarkets which have committed to use approved standard fish names on all seafood they sell.


SFM and all its seafood retailers were the first businesses in Australia to be licensed under the Scheme, allowing consumers to confidently make decisions about where they will purchase their correctly labelled seafood.


At the launch, the gathered media was addressed by The Minister, who stated that the launch of the website would assist Australian families in making purchasing decisions about where and from whom they purchased their seafood.


“You can’t beat the quality of fresh, locally caught Australian seafood and this will help to take some of the stress out of seafood shopping,” Minister Burke said.


“I commend Sydney Fish Market for being the first retailers to be licensed under the approved fish name brand.”


Major seafood consumption studies conducted over the past 10 – 15 years have consistently shown that the major barrier to seafood purchase/consumption relates to concerns around accuracy in labelling of fish. Uncertainty over the species of fish being purchased, as well as potential risk of substitution of cheaper fish species by mislabelling at the retail end have been identified as the primary reasons for consumer avoidance of seafood purchases.


Sydney Fish Market held meetings with a view to standardising species names from as far back as 1920, when concerns over the variety of fish being sold under various names led to meetings to discuss standardising fish names across the board. Up until recent times, species such as Snapper have been sold under more than 20 different names nationwide, with the name used throughout Australia varying from region to region.


The Scheme is seen as a way of taking the confusion out of purchasing seafood, providing greater transparency for the consumer at time of purchase. The Approved Fish Names brand scheme has been welcomed by all sectors of the industry, from catchers and harvesters through to retailers and consumers. 


For retailers interested in becoming certified, please contact 1300 130 321 or visit




Sustainable Seafood – Professor Kearney Encourages SFM to Show Pride in Industry


In December, SFM staff and tenants were given the opportunity to meet and discuss the topic of sustainability and Australian seafood with one of Australia’s leading authorities on fisheries management and sustainability, Professor Bob Kearney.


An Emeritus Professor in Fisheries Management at the University of Canberra, Professor Kearney is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the WorldFish Centre, a member of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee of the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage, and a member of the Research Committees of the Australia & Pacific Science Foundation and the Pacific Biological Foundation.


Professor Kearney has written over 150 scientific and technical papers and spearheaded research projects which include modelling Australia’s fisheries production and consumption to 2050 and beyond; reducing conflict between recreational and commercial fishers; and developing realistic approaches to the use of marine protected areas for conservation and fisheries management purposes.


Professor Kearney’s visit to SFM assisted staff and tenants in dispelling myths about overfished resources, provided an opportunity to discuss increasing demand and supply shortages and debate the roles of government, seafood marketers and ‘green groups’.


The informal talks by the Professor both encouraged and reassured his audience that it’s ok to be proud of their role as marketers of fresh Australian seafood and provided reasons why we should speak confidently about the sustainability of the seafood that is harvested.


The important role that marketers play in the success of the industry was also highlighted by Professor Kearney.  He noted that it is the responsibility of industry to ensure that the right message is delivered to consumers, as it plays such a crucial role in the industry’s success.


A key example highlighted by Professor Kearney was the issue of imported seafood, and the importance of supporting both domestically-produced and imported product which was raised as a key issue in effectively promoting seafood in this country.


“. . . the public is easily influenced by negative campaigns, and denigration of one form of seafood for whatever reason almost always has a negative effect on sales of seafood across the board”, said Professor Kearney.


Those who attended Professor Kearney’s presentations left feeling a renewed sense of pride and a greater understanding of fisheries management and sustainability.


During 2008, SFM released its Principles of Sustainability.  The Principles can be found in full on our website under About SFM/Environmental Policy or simply click here






Cheeky Advertising Has Sydney Chuckling All The Way to SFM


SFM has been making a splash recently with its cheeky marketing campaign that has Sydneysiders giggling all the way from Berowra to Blackwattle Bay.


Initially developed for display as advertisements on the back of metropolitan Sydney buses, SFM’s campaign uses simple, short, humorous messages to promote SFM and the fabulous fresh seafood that we’re famous for. As well as outdoor media, the ads are being utilised in print advertising, have received mention in newspaper articles and may even be displayed on t-shirts in the near future.


In conjunction with design agency Gasoline, SFM launched the somewhat tongue-in-cheek campaign over a year ago, initially as a concept which would have maximum impact on motorists and pedestrians alike. The first ads included cheeky messages such as ‘Mullets welcome’, ‘Prawn Stars’, and ‘Put your tackle away’. Accompanied by SFM’s logo and distinctive corporate colours, the ads have received encouraging feedback for their impact, quirky messages and positive recall response.


The second round of ads displayed in the second half of 2008 included ‘Happy Snappers’, ‘Want more mussels?’ and ‘Shucking great oysters’ - again, a marriage of tongue-in-cheek humour, simple, concise messaging and a focus on Australian seafood species.


The campaign has not gone unnoticed by the media, with an article by Beverley Hadgraft in Sunday Magazine, distributed within the Sunday Telegraph, referencing SFM’s ‘Shucking great oysters’ ad. The article focused on witty advertising that pushes the boundaries and SFM’s campaign is mentioned alongside those launched by Cockatoo Ridge wines, Fernwood Women’s Health Club, French Connection clothing, Toyota and Tourism Australia’s “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign.   


SFM continues to explore different ways of expanding the campaign, with the latest release of ads being fitted to 30 buses around town. Sydneysiders are now being greeted by messages such as ‘Feeling Crabby?’ and ‘Tall Pipi Syndrome’ when sitting in traffic, waiting at a bus-stop or going for an afternoon jog. Readers of the 2008 Good Food Guide would have no doubt stumbled upon a full page SFM ad, with the message ‘The oyster is our world’ emblazoned across the pages of this famous foodies bible.


It may not stop there, with plans underway to incorporate the campaign into a series of SFM merchandise, including t-shirts, caps and even beer coolers for sale to the general public. Soon enough, locals and tourists alike may be able to walk out of SFM with some fresh Prawns, a whole Snapper, wearing a t-shirt which says ‘Sydney Fish Market – We’ve Got Sole’.



Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd, Locked Bag 247, Bank Street PYRMONT NSW 2009

T: 61 2 9004 1100 | F: 61 2 9004 1177 | E: publicrelations@sydneyfishmarket.com.au