Stephen 'Tibby' Westaway


Tibby taking charge of the Crustacea Auction


Tibby auctioning Yellowfin Tuna

Sydney Fish Market Says Goodbye to Stephen 'Tibby' Westaway

The Sydney Fish Market (SFM) wholesale auction paused for a minute’s silence on Monday, 25 May to remember auctioneer and treasured friend Stephen George Westaway, known affectionately as ‘Tibby’. After a brave battle with cancer, Tibby passed away peacefully on Sunday, 24 May. He was 54 years of age.


Tibby was a much-loved character at SFM, highly regarded and respected by all who worked with him. Employed on 21 December 1984 as a Wheeler, Tibby commenced work on night duty, keen to make an impression and eager to learn. In 1991 he became an SFM Auctioneer, allowing him the perfect opportunity to combine his ladish and likeable personality with his fondness for a captive audience.


Renowned for his love of a joke, Tibby was a constant source of smiles and laughter amongst SFM Buyers and staff. Remembered for his trademark line “No fish tomorrow boys!” he would chat with anyone, his passion for the people and the organisation he worked for highlighted by the fact he rarely missed an SFM event. His fun-loving spirit was perfectly conveyed through his love of music - Tibby enjoyed a dance and could often be found singing the lyrics to songs by Robbie Williams and Frank Sinatra.


He was regarded by those who worked with him as a genuine person, someone who had a true passion for life. Throughout his fight with cancer, when asked how he was, his standard reply was “there are a lot of people worse off than I am” - testament to his positive outlook and determination to live life to the fullest.

Tibby was true a gentleman, with an immaculate dress sense and larger than life presence. Displaying an ever-present dedication and sense of loyalty to his mates, he regularly went beyond the call of duty to help out in any way that he could. While his endearing personality made him popular with everyone who encountered him, he loved nothing more than to spend time around loved ones.


His joy for life was matched by his love of a punt and passion for rugby league. Tibby was a diehard supporter of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and a life member of the Moore Park Juniors Rugby League Club.


His greatest love, however, was for his family. He recently married his childhood sweetheart of 38 years Sue - a smile sweeping across his face when discussing her, their two daughters Cody and Belinda or their grandchildren Jordan and Jake.


On Monday, 11 May 2009, a “Shave the Mane” event was held at SFM to raise money for Tibby and his family. The wholesale auction ground to a halt while the opportunity to shave the head of SFM Buyer Andrew Notaras was auctioned. $22,000 was raised by Andrew, with Buyers dipping into their pockets generously to display their support and love for Tibby and the Westaway family.


Tibby was also featured several times on the television show RPA, with the popular program following his treatment and post-operation recovery. Follow-up episodes were also filmed, charting Tibby’s fight with the illness and his triumphant return to work.


Tibby will be remembered for a life dedicated to his family, friends, his community and SFM. A character that truly lit up every room he entered, leaving behind smiles and laughter when he left it, he will be missed by all who knew him.


Farewell Tibby.






Salvatore Puglisi

Seafood Industry Loses a Star of the Sea

The Australian Seafood Industry bode farewell to one of its stars in May, with the passing of Salvatore Puglisi. A true pioneer, ‘Tory’ as he was affectionately known, went from humble beginnings on the New South Wales South Coast to being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his outstanding services to the nation’s fishing industry.


Born on the island of Lipari, off the Southern Coast of Italy, Tory migrated to Australia as a 3 year old accompanied by his father, mother, five sisters and three brothers. Settling in Wollongong (via Woolloomooloo) Tory and his family faced significant challenges in dealing with the culture shock of moving to a country so far removed from what they were accustomed.


However, the fishing industry provided the family with an opportunity to establish themselves in their new country, and it wasn’t long before the Puglisi boys were making their mark on the burgeoning South Coast commercial fishing landscape. In the early years, the Puglisi’s fishing method of choice was set-lining, with the boys attempting to land Snapper using six lines.


In 1937, the family moved further down the coast to Ulladulla. It was here that the Puglisi family continued to expand their operation, with their fish much sought after by the Sydney market. The family continued to add to their fleet, building a Danish seine trawling vessel which assisted in increasing production in order to meet growing demand for their product.


It is in Ulladulla that Tory stayed, building his fishing business and increasingly playing a leadership role in the development of the industry in the region. One of his biggest achievements was his position as a foundation member and Director of the Ulladulla Fishermen’s Co-operative. Tory was later to become Chairman of the Co-operative, a position he proudly held for over twenty years.


An active lobbyist for the industry, Tory also played a critical role in the building of lighthouses at Burrawurra Point and Brush Island, through continuous submission and resubmission to various government departments. Never one to rest on his laurels, Tory was also actively involved in establishing several innovative methods of fishing, including developments in setlining, seine trawling, tuna poling and otter board trawling.


Nomination by the New South Wales State Government resulted in Tory becoming a member of the NSW Fish Marketing Authority in 1978 and later holding the position of Deputy Chairman. Through this position, Tory played a key role in the ongoing progression of the State’s seafood industry and together with his colleagues instigated the purchase of property and construction of what is now Sydney Fish Market.


In recognition of his contribution to the fishing industry on the South Coast, Tory was also given the honour of being named patron of the Blessing of the Fleet Festival in Ulladulla. The annual Easter event sees thousands flock to Ulladulla harbour to be a part of the festivities, and is the biggest event of its kind in the region.


Tory was awarded the title of ‘Star of the Sea’ at SFM’s 1996 Seafood Awards, a highly prestigious honour handed to an individual who is considered to be an ambassador, a role model and who has made a significant contribution to the development of the Seafood Industry. He was also recognised by the Federal Government, in 1988 receiving the Bicentennial Award for his dedication and contribution to the industry.


After retiring from life at sea in 1980, Tory remained involved in fishing and could often be found in his shed mending nets, carrying out minor boat repairs, or at his family’s restaurant cleaning fish.


For all his fantastic achievements and impressive list of accolades, Tory considered his family to be his greatest triumph. His wife Nancy, and children Josi, Michael, Joe, Lee and Tory Junior, his grandchildren and great grandchildren were considered by Tory to be a true blessing and legacy.


A true gentleman of the sea, Tory Puglisi will be remembered for a life dedicated to his family, his community and to an industry that he loved. Leaving behind many friends, Tory will be missed but never forgotten.




SFM News

Yellowfin Tuna undergoes assessment by SFM staff

New Sashimi-Grading Scheme Deserves an A+

Sydney Fish Market (SFM) is thrilled to announce its new sashimi-grading scheme. An exciting upgrade to the existing process, the new scheme draws from Japanese sashimi-grading methodology, tailoring it to SFM conditions and the Australian market. The scheme will make sashimi-grading transparent and buying more efficient.

The new scheme is to be implemented in three stages. The first stage involves SFM providing Suppliers with feedback on their product and how it currently complies with the new scheme. Stage Two will be a four-week period where SFM’s Buyers will be educated on how sashimi product will be graded and what factors will determine grading. The final stage will involve replacing the existing voice auction of sashimi product with a newly devised method of sale using SFM’s Dutch auction clocks.


The new sale method will be a deviation from the traditional voice auction currently used to sell this product. Tuna and other products placed in the Sashimi Pavillion will be sold via SFM’s auction clocks through a combination of the Dutch auction system and the traditional voice auction. As with the existing system, the clock will start at a predetermined price for the day. The price will then drop until the first bid is received. At this point other Buyers will be able to make a counter bid, with the price increasing by $0.50 per bid. This process will continue until there are no further bids.


This new sales method will ensure more SFM Buyers have an opportunity to participate in the auction while allowing product to be sold quickly and more efficiently.


SFM’s new grading scheme provides five possible sashimi grades: sashimi A+, sashimi A, sashimi B+, sashimi B and sashimi B-. Each product being sold via this new system will have its grade clearly displayed on the auction screens as well as verbally announced to the Buyers prior to commencement of the bidding.  


The species that will be considered for sashimi-grading are Yellowfin Tuna, Southern Bluefin Tuna and Bigeye Tuna. Those Tuna that are not classified sashimi-grade will be labelled with a C grade which means they are classified safe to be consumed only after cooking.


Colour and shape will be the determining factors when grading Tuna under SFM’s new scheme. For the majority of Buyers at SFM, colour is the most important grading attribute when purchasing sashimi-grade Tuna. Shape is also a key attribute because the amount of sashimi-grade meat that the Buyer estimates will be recovered from the whole fish will ultimately determine the final price paid.


Other species which are presently displayed in SFM’s Sashimi Pavilion include Swordfish, Striped Marlin, Albacore, Mahi Mahi and Opah. These species will also be sold via the auction clocks as per the new sales method however, they are rarely sold for sashimi consumption in Australia, so will not be graded as sashimi.


Regardless of whether these products are graded as sashimi or not, other contributing factors including fat, oil content, freshness and meat damage are important in the quality assessment process. These attributes will also be assessed during inspection and recorded. The results of the inspection will be verbally announced to Buyers by an SFM Auctioneer and also displayed on the auction clock as part of the selling process.


All product sold via this new process, sashimi and non sashimi-grade, will now have a waterproof card attached to each fish, with all the relevant information required to identify and grade that fish. These product labels will guarantee that the buying process is systematic, transparent and traceable.

For further information regarding SFM’s new sashimi-grading scheme, contact Mark Boulter, Quality Assurance Manager on 02 9004 1128 or email markb@sydneyfishmarket.com.au.

New Sashimi-Grading Scheme Implementation
Stage One
Commencing Tuesday,
23 June 2009
SFM provides suppliers with feedback on their product, and how it currently complies with the new scheme.

Stage Two
Commencing Monday,
6 July 2009

SFM’s Buyers will be educated on how sashimi product will be graded and what factors will determine grading.

Stage Three
Commencing Monday,
17 August 2009

SFM will replace the existing voice auctioning of sashimi product with a newly devised method of sale using SFM’s Dutch auction clocks.



Market Pride® Seafood Chowder – New England Style


Market Pride® innovative product packaging

Market Pride® on Show!

In August 2008, Sydney Fish Market (SFM) launched Market Pride®, its range of restaurant quality, seafood meal options. The range primarily caters to consumers who seek quick, simple and delicious seafood meals, with products and accompanying serving suggestions created to appeal to culinary novices and devoted foodies alike.


The Market Pride® range was initially launched into seafood retailers throughout Sydney but as the range has evolved, so too has the variety of retailers clambering to carry the product. In addition to being available at all good seafood retailers, SFM is proud to announce that Market Pride® can also be found in an increasing number of Harris Farm Markets and IGA outlets in Sydney.


SFM is excited to announce that Market Pride® will be featured at the Good Food & Wine Show at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour this month. This event is expected to see more than 40,000 people through the doors between Friday, July 3 and Sunday, July 5. The show will be buzzing with over 300 exhibitors showcasing the very best of Australian food, cooking accessories and equipment, as well as appearances by internationally renowned chef Gordon Ramsey who will be cooking up a storm in the LG Celebrity Theatre.


The Market Pride® crew will be on deck in its very own booth, showcasing the range and holding cooking demonstrations. After illustrating just how deliciously simple Market Pride® is to prepare, free samples of Seafood Chowder - New England Style, Silver Warehou & Atlantic Salmon Fish Cakes, and Atlantic Salmon & Silver Warehou Sausages will be provided to the masses. Once they’ve been given a taste, attendees will then have the opportunity to purchase a Market Pride® goodie-bag packed full of sumptuous products, mouth-watering recipes, and a Market Pride® voucher.


The Market Pride® range provides consumers with an easy way to enjoy delicious Australian seafood, while adhering to the National Heart Foundation’s recommendation of 2–3 seafood meal servings per week. Additionally, the entire range is made with low carbohydrate, gluten-free ingredients, making them suitable for those with celiac disease and wheat allergies – a benefit rarely found in other pre-packaged seafood products.  


Consumers are always looking for convenient, healthy meals, so why not entice them with the Market Pride® range. What’s more, they will love you for it! These products are as simple as heat and serve, allowing busy, quality-conscious consumers to get all the benefits of fresh Australian seafood in a quick and tasty format.


Nothing is more satisfying than a hearty meal to warm the bones. The Market Pride® range provides meal options perfect for a sumptuous winter feast, with seafood soups such as Seafood Chowder - New England Style, Prawn Bisque, and Seafood Laksa, and flavoursome Market Pride® stocks that can be served as clear soups or as a base in your favourite recipes.


The range is versatile and is perfect for those who like to entertain, with products such as Szechuan Pepper & Salt Squid providing the perfect entrée solution. Prepared in under 1 minute, Szechuan Pepper & Salt Squid is one of the most popular Market Pride® products, utilising tube-only, pineapple cut Gould’s Squid from the pristine waters off the South-East Australian coast, combined with a dusting sachet of spicy Szechuan pepper and sea salt.


Contact Michelle Christoe, Market Pride® Manager on (02) 9004 1162 if you would like further information on the Market Pride® range or become a registered Buyer.




One of Sydney Seafood School's delicious creations


Sydney Seafood School Gets a Makeover for its 20th Birthday

From fish to fancy furnishings, Sydney Seafood School is keeping it fresh! In celebration of its 20th anniversary in November this year, the School will undergo a major refurbishment.


Sydney Seafood School, established in 1989 and regarded as one of the top cooking schools in Australia, has decided it is time to give its food-savvy guests a truly classy silver service. Michael McCann, of Dreamtime Australia Design, has created the School’s contemporary new look. Michael has designed some of Sydney’s top restaurants and bars including The Argyle, Flying Fish Restaurant and Bar and Bavarian Bier Café. In conjunction with Roberta Muir, Sydney Seafood School Manager, and feedback gathered from thousands of customer surveys, Michael has designed a spectacular, innovative experience.


“Sydney Seafood School classes see over 12,000 local, interstate and overseas foodies each year eager to learn how to cook sumptuous seafood recipes. The refurbishment will be a facelift that ensures all our guests are presented with a tasteful, sophisticated experience” said Roberta Muir.


The School will receive the ‘royal treatment’ with the latest in cooking innovation. The appliances have been hand selected from the Fisher & Paykel IZONA collection. Each cooking island will have a CookSurface, combining the performance of gas with a suave flat glass cooktop, which transforms into workspace when it is not in use. Cooking islands will also include a stylish oven, a CoolDrawer refrigeration unit, and an extraordinarily quiet VentSurface smoke and steam extraction system. The practical kitchen will also be fitted with a bank of five gas built-in Beefeater Barbecues.


The School will be closed from July to September, reopening in October before celebrating its 20th anniversary in November with a truly 5-star line up, including guest chefs Tetsuya Wakuda, David Thompson, Justin North, Cheong Liew, Neil Perry, Matthew Moran, Janni Kyritsis, Guillaume Brahimi, Peter Gilmore and Christine Manfield.


The School was opened 20 years ago to help create a demand for the more unusual varieties of seafood that commercial fishermen caught. Today, while seafood is still the focus, there's no longer any need to convince most people to try cooking with mussels, octopus or crabs. The refurbishment will assist in further educating guests on how to confidently prepare a variety of seafood species.


Sydney Seafood School has a wide range of classes to suit everyone’s palate and skill level, from Thai to tapas, to the more complex weekend workshops with leading chefs. The October program of classes and latest FISHline News can be viewed at www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au under Seafood School. Classes can be booked and gift certificates purchased from the website.


For further information contact Sydney Seafood School at sss@sydneyfishmarket.com.au or on 02 9004 1111.



The Tide to Table team

OceanWatch Australia - July 2009 Update

SeaNet is back!


Early 2009 was a busy time for the OceanWatch Australia (OWA) team, with the return of the national SeaNet program, following an $800k grant from the Australian Government.


After 10 successful years of award-winning environmental extension service to the Australian Seafood Industry, the SeaNet program was frozen in 2008. Following a strong lobbying campaign by industry, the Federal Government awarded OWA a further year’s funding, and SeaNet is back.     


SeaNet works directly with fishers to provide information and advice on improved fishing gear, technology and fishing methods, as well as practical assistance to improve the environmental performance of the industry in a manner that allows them to remain internationally competitive.


Four of the original SeaNet Officers returned to duties: Denis Ballam (Northern Queensland), David Kreutz (Southern Queensland), Michael Wooden (New South Wales) and Fe Ewing (Tasmania), whilst recruitment for now officers in Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia and Victoria took place in early 2009. 


“We are thrilled with the high calibre candidates these roles have attracted”, said Brad Warren, Executive Chair of OWA. “Our new Officers are keen and eager to engage with industry and get some runs on the board for them.”



NSW SeaNet Officer - Michael Wooden


Michael “Woody” Wooden is the SeaNet Officer for NSW.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree and recently completed a Masters degree by research through the University of New England’s National Marine Science Centre.  Woody has worked on numerous research projects which address species selectivity and bycatch reduction in Otter trawl, seine nets and traps. Woody has previously worked for OWA as the SeaNet Officer in South-East Queensland and, more recently, as the Tide to Table Officer for the Hunter/Central Rivers and Hawkesbury Nepean.


Woody can be contacted via the OWA Office on 02 9660 2262.



Tide to Table Update


All good things eventually come to an end and Tide to Table, OWA’s on-ground works program, draws to a close this month in the Hunter and Hawkesbury regions of NSW.


45 projects were funded over 3 years, worth approximately $1.3 million, including in-kind contributions from industry landholders, government and councils. Works included projects such as seagrass friendly moorings, dairy industry effluent improvements, riverbank vegetation assistance and increases to saltmarsh and mangrove habitat.


Activities of interest to fishers included connectivity tours on the Hawkesbury and Hunter Rivers, with commercial oyster farmers and fishermen showing representatives from government, local councils, the mining industry, farmers and conservation groups the many challenges that the rivers face from a seafood production perspective. In addition, workshops were held at Hexham for inshore fishers, representatives of the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority, to discuss industry concerns. The issues surrounded the environment, government regulations and fishing gear.


The NSW Oyster Industry Environmental Champion Awards were also held in late September 2008 and were hailed a success by members of the NSW oyster industry.  Events, such as the Regional Meeting for the Country Women’s Association, informed the public of their local seafood sector’s needs in terms of water quality and fish habitat.



What’s next for Tide to Table


Applications have been lodged for funds to work on issues in the Hastings River, along with a ‘Caring for our Country’ bid, with the Federal Government, for a national program based on Tide to Table, to be called King Tide. Tide to Table is funded for another year in Bundaberg and Townsville and celebrates its 5th year in the Sydney Metropolitan area.



Have you seen the new Tide to Table mural at Sydney Fish Market’s reception?


Call in and take a look – Level 1 reception, Sydney Fish Market Administration Building.  


For more information on OceanWatch Australia visit www.oceanwatch.org.au or call (02) 9660 2262.




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