A Christmas message from general manager Bryan Skepper

With the 19th annual 36-Hour Seafood Marathon almost upon us, I’d like to wish all of our suppliers, buyers, tenants, customers, staff and fishing industry friends a very Merry Christmas.

This year, SFM celebrates 20 years since privatisation, which coincidentally coincides with one of the most significant milestones in our company’s history; the Bays Precinct Urban Renewal initiative announced by the NSW Government in July 2014. Since the announcement earlier this year we have been working closely with UrbanGrowth NSW as well as our internal and external stakeholders to develop our vision for the future of the site. We are looking forward to 2015 to further communicate this vision to the community and to further develop it into a strategic plan. It’s going to be a very exciting time and we look forward to sharing it with you.

Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s activities and all the best for the year to come. Wishing you all a merry and seafood-filled Christmas and a happy New Year!

Putting the sea into your season's greetings

SFM's nineteenth annual 36-Hour Seafood Marathon kicks off at 5am Tuesday 23rd December, with trade continuing non-stop until 5pm on Christmas Eve, Wednesday 24th December 2014.

With the marathon projected to attract almost 100,000 people to the site, SFM's seafood retailers and wholesale auction are expected to sell over 600 tonnes of seafood in that time. This includes more than 120 tonnes of Prawns, along with 70,000 dozen Oysters - or about 390 Oysters per minute.

Shoppers needn’t look any further for accompaniments to their seafood spread. Onsite retailers will ensure customers have an abundant table on Christmas Day, with an extensive array of fresh produce, baked goods, beverages, delicious snacks and sweets on offer. This year, customers can even take home their Christmas ham or turkey from the recently opened on-site butcher, Vic’s Meat Market.

SFM general manager Bryan Skepper says, “People are often pressed for time during the festive season, but our 36-Hour Seafood Marathon means there is plenty of time for Christmas feast shopping. We’re a one stop shop with our fantastic variety of speciality retailers, making preparations more convenient.

The 36-Hour Seafood Marathon has become a Christmas tradition for many. There’s a wonderful atmosphere, with families sharing late night fish and chips by the water, and seafood lovers dropping in at all hours of the night, filling their eskies to the brim with Christmas favourites,” Bryan said.


  • Parking is available at SFM for a flat rate of $5.00 for two hours.
  • Additional parking is also available just two-minutes walk away from SFM at Sydney Secondary College, Blackwattle Bay Campus, entrance via Pyrmont Bridge Road. 
  • Sydney Light Rail will operate continuously to the 'Fish Market' stop throughout the 36-Hour Seafood Marathon. The ‘Fish Market’ Light Rail stop is located near the traffic lights at the entrance to the SFM car park.
  • Bus services 443 and the 501 regularly depart from the city. For route and timetable information, visit www.transportnsw.info

Summer set to sizzle at Sydney Seafood School

Sydney Seafood School's sizzling summer program of cooking classes is serving up another impressive line-up of guest chefs. Making their Seafood School debut this season are; Mike McEnearney (Kitchen by Mike), Moon Park’s Ben Sears, and Gabriele Taddeucci from Balla. While other guest chefs to inspire your summer entertaining include Andy Evans (Spice Temple), Giovanni Pilu (Pilu at Freshwater), Hamish Ingham (Bar H), Christine Manfield, Frank Camorra (MoVida), Damien Pignolet, Justin North (Hotel Centennial), Kumar Mahadevan (Aki’s Indian Restaurant), Phil Wood (Rockpool), Mark Jensen (Red Lantern) and Mark Best (Marque).

The full program of upcoming classes can be viewed at www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au. Classes can be booked online and gift certificates and copies of the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook purchased from the website. Contact Sydney Seafood School on +61 2 9004 1111 or sss@sydneyfishmarket.com.au

And if you've still got some last-minute Christmas shopping to do, remember the School’s gift certificates make perfect presents for the hard-to-shop-for-foodies in your life. And if you buy a copy of the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook (RRP $49.99) together with a gift certificate, you’ll save $10.

Scholarship winner ready to go up a grade

As part of our commitment to the local community, Sydney Fish Market is proud to be the principal sponsor of the Harris Community Scholarship Fund (HCSF) which provides educational scholarships to  local children at Ultimo Primary School as they move into high school and beyond to university or TAFE.
Last week, Sydney Fish Market’s Corporate Social Responsibility & External Relations Manager Stephanie Williams attended the Scholarship award ceremony at Ultimo Public School at which student Dylan Waldron was awarded the Scholarship for 2014. Dylan was selected as the recipient for his keen involvement in school life, kindness toward others and excellent writing skills.
Stephanie says, “Sydney Fish Market is honoured to be a part of this wonderful initiative which helps acknowledge and support the hard working children of our community. As part of the selection process I was fortunate to interview the Scholarship applicants along with the rest of the HCSF committee and was struck at how polite and intelligent all of the young students were.
Congratulations to Dylan Waldron from SFM. We are looking forward to hearing about his undoubtedly promising future.

OceanWatch launches Master Fisherman QR codes

OceanWatch's Master Fisherman pilot project involving 60 NSW Estuary General professional fishers was launched by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck at SFM on World Fisheries Day, 21 November 2014, in celebration of 25 years of achievement for OceanWatch.

The project, funded by OceanWatch and Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, includes training and assessment for professional fishers linked to international best practice identified by the UN FAO Code for Responsible Fishing.

In an industry first, at the completion of training each fisherman is given a unique QR (quick response) code. By scanning the code, buyers can meet the fisher behind the catch and see how the seafood was caught. They can also find out which part of Australia the seafood comes from and information about the characteristics of the species, migration patterns and population statistics.

Brad Warren, Executive Chair OceanWatch Australia said, “These QR codes offer real transparency around the provenance of seafood. It’s important the community knows where their seafood comes from, and is confident the fisher is dedicated to responsible fishing and best-practice techniques to protect our marine environments.

The QR codes provide wholesale buyers with the tools to make informed purchasing decisions and ensure consumers, in turn, are eating a responsibly caught catch.

SFM general manager, Bryan Skepper, commended OceanWatch Australia on using the QR codes to share information about Australian fishing practices and seafood provenance.

Consumers are increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from and we applaud this initiative which not only provides information but will reveal some of the faces, and stories, of our hard-working fishers,” he said.

As part of the OceanWatch 25th anniversary, SFM general manager, Bryan Skepper, was awarded the OceanWatch Rare Fish Award. 

The award is presented to an individual who has been identified by the OceanWatch board of directors as a key contributor to the vision of the organisation.  Bryan has been honorary company secretary since the inception of OceanWatch, and has been instrumental in establishing accurate reporting and effective management systems which have assisted OceanWatch in their continued success over the past 25 years.  Living up to its Rare Award name, Bryan is one of only three recipients to have received the award. Bryan joins the late Peter Doyle,AM and Phil March on the honour role.

Canberra media hungry for more than just a juicy story

SFM's Grahame Turk and Bryan Skepper were among the many seafood industry stalwarts who manned the barbecues to feed 100 hungry media at the now annual seafood barbecue hosted by the National Party for the Canberra parliamentary press gallery.
L- R: Bryan Skepper, Barnaby Joyce, Grahame Turk and Nigel Scullion
The event, held on 27 November, was organised and hosted by Nationals MPs Barnaby Joyce (Minister for Agriculture), Nigel Scullion (Minister for Indigenous Affairs), Senator Matthew Canavan,  and the now-retired Ron Boswell, a staunch supporter of the seafood industry for all of his 31 years in Canberra. It attracted more than half the 250-strong press gallery, plus a host of Coalition politicians (including a few Liberals like Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck). 

The businesses and groups that provided the seafood (and 'chefs') for the event included: SFM; Stephen Murphy from the Australian Eastern King Prawn Company; Nick Schulz and Paul Hodson from Urangan Fisheries; Arthur Raptis from A. Raptis & Sons; Annie Jarrett from the Northern Prawn Fishery Industry; Clayton Nelson from the MG Kailis Group; and John Harrison from the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council.

This story may save your life

The Professional Fishermen's Association (PFA) has requested we spread the word about an important piece of safety equipment that they believe will save fisher's lives - the AUTOTETHER Marine Safety Wireless Lanyard. PFA members will receive a 10% discount when they purchase this device, which is also covered by the WorkCover Safety Rebate.

AUTOTETHER™ wireless lanyard system is an innovation in boating safety equipment that every boater should have! Unlike traditional lanyard kill switches that come standard with boats and require the operator to be tethered to the boat, the AUTOTETHER™ boating safety device is an unobtrusive wireless unit that clips right into the emergency stop switch (kill switch) It operates via a radio transmitter in a personal sensor worn by a person that sends radio waves to a receiver connected to the boat's emergency stop switch. When the sensor is submerged in water, the signal between the transmitter and the receiver is instantly broken, because radio waves do not travel through water. AUTOTETHER™ activates the emergency stop switch which stops the boat's motor. For added safety, should the operator or a passenger notice a potential danger, he or she can push the red alert button AUTOTETHER™ on the sensor to sound an alarm and stop the boat.

AUTOTETHER™ can accommodate a total of four (4) wireless sensors - one for the boat operator and three for additional passengers (crew). Any passenger wearing the sensor who falls overboard will signal the boat to stop with the sound of an alarm.

For more information visit their website or call 1800 838 437 or contact the PFA on (02) 6652 7374.

Scholarship Applications now open for women

The Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community (WINSC) in association with the FRDC has called for applications from its Full Members for a scholarship to pursue studies and/or training, and/or other development activity including conference attendance. With funding from the FRDC on behalf of the Australian Government, a fund has been established to provide an annual scholarship of $6000.

Celebrating women in the seafood industry is a priority for Leonie Noble, President, WINSC given that women are, and have historically been, integral to the professional fishing industry and seafood marketing in Australia.

Largely perceived as a male dominated industry the fact is that women are a significant force throughout the sector,” said Ms Leonie Noble.

These women are hard‐working, creative and innovative, essential characteristics to meeting the challenges of harvesting and producing Australia’s sustainable and high quality seafood which is so much in demand here and around the world.

Women in leadership is an area where we do need to do much more work. The seafood industry, similar to many other sectors in Australia, is under‐represented by women in leadership positions,” Ms Noble noted.

I encourage all industry women to consider these roles, and the men throughout the industry to support them in their aims. We know that higher levels of women’s representation in decision‐making and leadership roles leads to better organisations and businesses,” Ms Noble stated.

For further information please contact Anne Whalley
Email: whalleysfishing@bigpond.com or Ph: 07 41525732
Application Closing Date: 6th February, 2015

Staff news

Welcome Vicky

Welcome Vicky Burgess (pictured) who recently joined SFM’s finance team as the new Senior Financial Accountant. Vicky replaces Sunnie Elder who farewells SFM as she moves on to a new chapter of her career. Vicky comes from a financial accountant background and will be responsible for preparing the monthly accounts for the Board. Vicky is enjoying her new position and is looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Congratulations Nora

Congratulations Nora (pictured) on her appointment to the position of Executive Assistant to SFM General Manage, Bryan Skepper. Nora will be replacing Jess Moore who was a part of the SFM team for almost three years. Nora came on board as a contractor in May 2013 for the Seafood Excellence Awards and has since performed the roles of Property and Administrative Executive and acting Executive Assistant to GM. We’re very proud of Nora’s progress. 

Farewell Bonnie, welcome Kishani

SFM welcomes Kishani (pictured), our newest member of the team, coming on board as Marketing Assistant. Kishani replaces Bonnie who has returned to family and friends in Perth. Kishani is a marketing student who is eager to assist the marketing team and is looking forward to further developing her skills in the role. We wish her the best of luck.
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