Welcome to the December issue of SFM News

Christmas Message from SFM’s General Manager

With the final week of 2016 upon us, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our seafood industry friends and valued customers a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

2016 has been a year of many challenges and achievements at SFM including significant progress on the redevelopment which you can read more about below. As we prepare for one of the busiest times of the year I’d like to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication. All the best to everyone for the final weeks of December, especially those of you involved in the SFM’s 36-Hour Seafood Marathon!

Bryan Skepper

36-Hour Seafood Marathon

Sydney Fish Market retailers will trade for 36 hours straight, from 5am on Wednesday 23rd December right through until 5pm on Christmas Eve.

This year, more than 100,000 shoppers are expected to attend the event buying over 700 tonnes of seafood.

As well as fresh seafood, shoppers can grab a Christmas turkey or ham, get advice on the best wines and beer for pairing with their meal, or pick-up fresh bread, fruit, and vegetables. To complete the Christmas feast, there is also a wide choice of deli items including cold meats, olives and cheeses.

Even Santa Claus is taking time out from his busy schedule to pop in between 11am and 1pm both days of the marathon.

For last minute gift ideas Sydney Seafood School gift certificates are available online for any dollar value and can be printed out immediately from your computer. Add a copy of the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook for just $29.99 and save $20 off the RRP (with gift certificate purchases of $90 or more). Cookbooks and vouchers can also be purchased at SFM Reception or call (02) 9004 1111.


On 7th November, the long awaited announcement of the first step in the tendering process of the SFM redevelopment took place with NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Planning Rob Stokes making the announcement to media from the SFM wharf. 

Sydney Fish Market has recently engaged food & retail consultants Brain & Poulter to work with SFM & its tenants to ensure the optimum retail offering and design at the future market.

More information about our vision for redevelopment can be found on the website.

(Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull posing for a photo with De Costi Seafood staff)

Prime Minister visits Sydney Fish Market

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Greg Hunt visited SFM to chat with retailers and hold a press conference to discuss jobs and innovation for Australia.

The PM chatted to several retailers about how delivery service, ‘Your Grocer’ which was developed as part of his innovation initiative, is helping their business. The visit highlighted the case for Australian businesses to "innovate or die".

(Framework of the live tanks being prepared for conditioning)

Live Tanks Installed at Sydney Fish Market Auction

Live tanks have been installed at the SFM auction floor with the month-long conditioning process currently underway. It is anticipated that with successful cultivation of bacteria, the tanks should fully operational by late January.

Installation of live tanks will maintain the health of live product traded through the auction and in turn improve shelf life. Successful implementation of live tank handling has been demonstrated to improve the sale price of live product.

Valuing Coastal Fisheries

Australia's professional fishing industries are an essential ingredient for maintaining the economic, social and cultural richness of coastal communities.

A research study conducted by University of Technology Sydney and Fisheries Research and Development Corporation reveals that the NSW professional fishing industry contributes more than $436 million in revenue annually to the NSW economy and generates about 3,290 full-time jobs. 

Findings of the research include:

  • 94 per cent of the general public in NSW believes it is important that seafood continues to be produced in NSW
  • 96 per cent believe buying local seafood is better for the local community
  • 89 per cent of NSW residents expect to eat fresh local seafood when holidaying on the coast, 76 per cent say it is an important part of their coastal visit experience
  • 60 per cent of professional fishers have helped out with search and rescue operations in estuaries and coastal waters
  • Fishing is part of the heritage of many towns
  • 78 per cent of recreational fishers across the state prefer local bait 

More information and findings from the research study can be found here.

National Seafood Industry Leadership Program

Congratulations to SFM’s sponsored candidates, Felipe Henriquez, SFM QA Supervisor and; Dominic Pirrello, Policy and Government Relations Consultant, Small Pelagic Fishing Industry Association who recently graduated from the six-month 2016 National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP) in Canberra in November 2016.

The National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP) graduation is part of the final industry networking dinner and is strongly supported by key stakeholders of the seafood industry and community from across Australia.  During the graduation, participants provided an overview of the outcomes of the 2016 NSILP Mission that was developed and implemented during the program. The outcomes include a seafood industry experiential trail in Hobart and an industry calendar featuring women of the Australian seafood industry. 

Applications are now open for the 2017 National Seafood Industry Leadership Program.

Each year SFM is proud to sponsor two participants (from staff and the wider industry) to attend the program. Click here to download more information about the program along with the sponsorship application form. Please ensure you return your application to SFM by January 6th for consideration.

Seafood Directions – Call for Abstracts

Abstracts are invited for the Seafood Directions 2017 Conference to be held from the 27-29 September at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.

The Seafood Directions 2017 Conference showcases the best of the Australian seafood industry and opens the door to discussion of current trends, opportunities and challenges.

The Conference Committee are thrilled to invite you to take part in the discussion & to “sea” into the future of the Australian seafood industry.

Seafood Directions has no boundaries, opening the discussion for themes and ideas with as much imagination as possible. Explore your potential, submit an abstract and participate in the shaping of the “Industry of the Future.”
For more information and to submit your abstract please click here.

Ballina Prawn Festival

The Ballina Prawn Festival is an iconic Aussie event and a wonderful celebration of the much-loved crustacean and the industry the region was built upon.

SFM in partnership with the Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op were again proud sponsors of the Ballina Prawn Festival, held Saturday 12th November in Missingham Park, Ballina. Bryan Skepper and Stephanie Williams travelled to Ballina for the event with Bryan judging the competition for the Sydney Fish Market Signature Prawn Dish. 

The event was well attended with over 15,000 locals and tourists visiting, despite some bad weather. 

(Winners Ross Ferguson, Claudios; Louise Shaw, SFM; Greg Parker, Wallis Lake Coop;  Paul Lavalle, Tuna Fisher Ulladulla)

Golf day

SFM suppliers from NSW and SFM retailers were invited to Stonecutters Ridge Golf Course for an ambrose-style, social golf day.

Teams of four teed off on the Greg Norman designed golf course and met back at the golf club for a casual dinner and presentation. With a turnout of 24 players, it was great to see faces from both the north and south coasts make the effort to travel and attend the event.

The October event was the first of many more to come and SFM is looking forward to seeing the event grow and become a regular fixture on the social calendar.     

World Fisheries Day

To coincide with World Fisheries Day on Monday, 21st November, Sydney Fish Market awarded a $10,000 environmental grant to Clean Seas.

Australia’s first commercially sustainable producer of premium Kingfish, Clean Seas, will use the grant to help fund a trial program that involves testing their current commercial Yellowtail Kingfish diets against those containing fish by-product meal and land based protein substitutes as alternatives.

The trial will tie in with the work Clean Seas is doing with Government researchers to understand the impacts of finfish farming on the marine environment.

The trial is expected to start at Arno Bay in early January.

OceanWatch Living Shorelines Program

OceanWatch Australia launched the trial of its Living Shoreline program at an event held in Lane Cove National Park in October.

OceanWatch have developed a method to line shorelines using old oyster shells and packing them into biodegradable coconut fibre bags. The bags will help reduce erosion and siltation along the shore, while also restoring the shellfish population and providing a new habitat for other marine life. Currently, most shoreline protection approaches have been driven by hard engineering in the form of seawalls or rock armouring.

The program will use eight tonnes of oyster shells; seven tonnes from oyster farmers in Port Stephens while the rest have been donated by The Star casino's buffet restaurant.

Prior to the launch, OceanWatch installed a packing station at SFM for staff and volunteers to contribute to the process of packing and tying the bags. The outdoor station also allowed the opportunity for the public to be educated and ask questions about the program as they passed.

Staff News


In order to achieve our vision to be the world’s best fish market by 2020 a number transitions are required, commencing with an organisational restructure. A number of internal changes have been implemented, including:


Gus Dannoun – Executive Manager, Seafood Trading
Gus will be responsible for developing the seafood trading business so it is resilient to market changes. His portfolio includes Sales & Customer Services, Market Floor Operations and Quality Assurance.

Erik Poole – Customer Account Manager, Seafood Trading
Erik will be responsible for Supply.

Mark Boulter has established a consultancy business, Safe Sustainable Seafood Pty Ltd and will be leaving SFM to focus on his consultancy business.

Sevaly Sen will continue to be involved with SFM, undertaking ongoing work in the sustainability field through her consultancy practice.

 Robert Clementson has decided to move on after more than 20 years’ loyal service.


Stephen Groom – Executive Manager, Corporate Services
Stephen will be responsible for Corporate Governance and Property so that we support our tenants and maintain a safe, sustainable and profitable operation. His portfolio includes Finance, IT, Human Resources, Environment & Safety, and Property Management.
Ian Chapple – Chief Accountant
Responsible for Company’s accounting functions including statutory financial reporting, cashiering, credit management and payables.
Vicki Burgess has returned from maternity leave resuming her position as Senior Accountant.
Louise Shaw, who was involved in the organisation review process and previously CSR and marketing at SFM, will be leaving to further her career in management.
Shristee Thapaliya returns from maternity leave as SFM’s WHS and QA officer after enjoying some time with family after the birth of her baby boy in December.

Copyright © 2016 Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd, All rights reserved.


Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd, Locked Bag 247, Bank Street PYRMONT NSW 2009
T: 61 2 9004 1100 | F: 61 2 9004 1177
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