Welcome to the October issue of SFM News

Proposed extension of seafood labelling laws

A senate inquiry is underway to explore whether the mandatory country of origin labelling laws currently applied to retail sales of fresh seafood should be extended to apply to restaurants and food service outlets.

Country of origin labelling of seafood is currently standardised throughout the entire supply chain, and may soon be extended to apply to restaurants and takeaways.
SFM supports the move given that country of origin labelling is standardised throughout the entire seafood supply chain, but does not apply to point of sale in restaurants and takeaway outlets where operators are not required to inform customers where the fish they are purchasing is from.

SFM general manager Bryan Skepper says, “Almost 75% of seafood consumed in this country comes from overseas so there is definitely a place in the market for imported seafood, but consumers have a right to make a choice based on information and should be provided with the same level of detail whether they are purchasing seafood in a retail environment or in a restaurant.

The inquiry is expected to release its recommendations on 4 December 2014.

The Bays Precinct redevelopment update

In July 2014, the NSW Government announced the appointment of UrbanGrowth NSW to drive a number of urban renewal programs, including one for The Bays Precinct, which incorporates Sydney Fish Market.

SFM has since been working with its stakeholders and UrbanGrowth NSW on the development of a strategic vision document which will be presented by Grahame Turk at The Bays Precinct, Sydney International Summit taking place from 18th to 20th November 2014.

In addition, meetings will be held with key organisations that will be attending the Summit to ensure that they understand the importance of retaining both the wholesale and retail functions of Sydney Fish Market on the shores of Blackwattle Bay.

Sydney Fish Market’s vision incorporates the following messages: 

  • Sydney Fish Market is a Sydney landmark that attracts 2.7 million visits a year and is the home of Australia’s seafood industry but we believe it can be even better.
  • The Bays Precinct development initiative is an exciting opportunity for a revamped Sydney Fish Market to become an anchor point at the centre of an evolving entertainment, tourism and culture zone.
  • Sydney Fish Market is the ideal link between the existing Darling Harbour and Pyrmont precincts and The Bays Precinct of the future.
  • We want SFM to remain Australia’s Home of Seafood and to become the benchmark of global seafood markets. 
  • Sydney Fish Market is an icon that deserves a design that is innovative and exciting. It should celebrate our links with many different parts of the community and reflect our long history in the area while also looking forward to the future.
  • Sydney Fish Market is already a major tourist destination and a significant part of Sydney’s visitor economy with 2.7 million visits each year. The key to our success is the authentic wet market experience we offer. This must be protected.

Building a strong industry future

Congratulations to all participants in the 2014 National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP) who were officially graduated by Fisheries Research and Development Corporation program manager Crispian Ashby and SFM general manager Bryan Skepper at a graduation dinner held in Canberra on 25 September.

2014 NSILP Graduates.

SFM general manager Bryan Skepper says, We are proud to be a Gold sponsor of NSILP and since privatisation in 1994, the company has funded 25 staff and industry members to attend the program. For 2014, that included sponsoring SFM’s corporate social responsibility & external relations manager, Stephanie Williams, and Troy Billen, a Mud Crab fisherman from Clarence River.

Congratulations to all of this year’s graduates, all of whom I am sure will make significant contributions to the future of Australia’s seafood industry.

The graduation dinner was the final activity of the six-month program which included three 3-day residentials where participants worked together to plan and implement an industry mission; a series of skills development sessions; networking activities as well as guest speaker panels and workplace tours. An overview of the mission outcomes was provided as part of the graduation ceremony.

Stephanie Williams says “NSLIP was an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and strategies with representatives from right across the industry. We soon realised that everyone, whether they be from the commercial or recreational sector, wild catch or aquaculture, had similar views and goals. NSLIP gave us the tools to work together for the betterment of the industry as a whole.” 

SFM invites members of the industry to apply for a SFM sponsored position in the 2015 program.  If you, or a member of your organisation, would like to be considered please email Stephanie Williams and include a summary of your current position and experience, as well as a short statement outlining why you would like to participate in the program.
For information on the 2015 program visit www.ruraltraininginitiatives.com.au.

2014 NSILP Graduates

Nathan Adams Director/Diver, Wild Abalone Pty Ltd
Troy Billin Commercial Fisherman, Self Employed
Naomi Brydon Assistant Director, Fisheries Reform, Australian Government of Agriculture, Fisheries Branch
Charlotte Connell Communications Manager, Marine Stewardship Council
Donna English Promotion & Marketing Officer, Northern Territory Seafood Council
James Florisson Research Officer, Recfishwest
Jacqui Johnson Teacher, North Coast TAFE NSW
John Moloney General Manager, Pacific Reef Fisheries Australia Pty Ltd
Trent O’Brien Sales/Refit, Tropic Ocean Prawns Australia Pty Ltd
Patrick Sachs Liaison Officer to the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation, Australian Fisheries Management Authority
Jamie Sellen Manager, Coffin Bay Pacific Oysters
Stephanie Williams Corporate Social Responsibility & External Relations Manager, Sydney Fish Market
Jane Wilson Salesperson, Raptis and Son
Camay Young Inventory/Procurement Manager, Austral Fisheries

Boardwalk seating capacity increased by 70%

Work to increase the boardwalk’s seating capacity by more than 70% is on track to be finalised by November 2014 in time for the busy summer trading period. All timber decking and seating on the old boardwalk is being replaced, and the existing astroturfed area converted to hold more seating to accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the market.

Work continues on SFM's boardwalk.

Working towards a safer commercial fishing industry

From October to December WorkCover NSW, Fisheries NSW, Roads and Maritime Services and the Professional Fishermen’s Association will be conducting free information sessions highlighting safe work practices and boating safety, including safety management system requirements.

Commercial fishermen are invited to attend these free information session where representatives from each government department will be available to provide advice and answer your questions to help you to understand your legislative obligations.

No bookings are required, just turn up to your local event.

Session Details

Date Time Location
7 November 2014
12:00 – 3:00 pm     Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club
21 Parkes Street TUNCURRY NSW 2128
13 November 2014
1:00 – 4:00 pm Sydney Fish Market
Bank Street PYRMONT NSW 2009
19 November 2014
1:00 – 4:00 pm  
Ulladulla Fishermen’s Co-op (Boardroom)
Fishermans Wharf ULLADULLA NSW 2539
20 November 2014
1:00 – 4:00 pm Tweed Heads Bowling Club
Cnr Wharf & Florence Street TWEED HEADS NSW 2485
25 November 2014
1:00 – 4:00 pm Director/Diver, Wild Abalone Pty Ltd
26 November 2014
1:00 – 4:00 pm Ballina RSL Club
240 River Street BALLINA NSW 2478
9 December 2014
1:00 – 4:00 pm Maclean Services Club
36-38 River Street MACLEAN NSW 2463

Traditional Blessing of the Fleet a success

The traditional Blessing of the Fleet held at SFM on Sunday 28 September was once again a great success, with plenty of people taking in the ceremony then enjoying the sunshine and free entertainment, eating and dancing into the late afternoon.

The centrepiece of the event, the statue of St. Maria of Porto Salvo, is an exact replica of the statue of the Madonna venerated in Bagnara Calabra, a fishing town in Southern Italy’s Calabrian region and the birthplace of many of the Sydney fleet’s fishers and their families.
Presented by SFM in conjunction with Association Bagnara Calabra Sydney, the event to bestow blessings on the local Sydney fishing fleet and visiting boats was well attended and received great media coverage, attracting news crews from Channel 9, Channel 7 and ABC News.

Father Christopher Slattery, parish priest at St. Martha’s Catholic Church in Strathfield, led the colourful ceremony, and Member for Drummoyne John Sidoti spoke as part of the official opening.

Local fisherman, Paul Bagnato, said the event is not only an Italian tradition, but a family celebration.

“For years, the blessing has been an opportunity for fishing communities to come together and pray for a bountiful season and safe return of all fishermen. Out at sea, it’s not always an easy journey. When a storm hits, you have to respect the sea and know the Madonna will guide you to safety,” said Bagnato.

The day’s entertainment included live music, face painting and Italian-inspired activities such as the hotly-contested spaghetti eating competition. Italian artists including Jacinta from X-Factor group 3rd Degree, The Voice finalist Chris Ninni and Australia’s very own Italian ‘son of song’, Alfredo Malabello, entertained audiences from a floating stage moored next to SFM’s boardwalk.

Attendees were also given the opportunity to meet the local fishers and try complimentary tastings of their catch thanks to not-for-profit environmental organisation OceanWatch Australia.

SFM general manager, Bryan Skepper said “The colourful ceremony is an important celebration of fishers’ livelihood and history. We’re delighted to have once again hosted this cultural event and support our hardworking local fishers.”

Vic’s Meat Market arrival makes SFM a true one-stop-fresh-food-shop

SFM is now a complete fresh food destination with Vic’s Meat Market opening its doors onsite in late September.

Anthony and Victor Puharich of Vic’s Meat Market.
Vic's, started by father and son Victor and Anthony Puharich 18 years ago, is renowned for its excellent meat, poultry and game, and supplies many of Sydney’s top restaurants.

It is expected that the store will attract a new crowd, drawn in by the quality and variety of speciality and wild meats on offer.  Vic’s Meat Market also features a casual dining area with a 2-tonne Yoder smoker, the largest of its kind in Australia, which Anthony had custom-built in the USA for American BBQ style slowcooking.

In even more good news for meat lovers, Anthony will be sharing some of his favourite cooking tips at Sydney Seafood School’s first ever Surf’n’Turf class on Saturday 29 November. Get in quick because it’s sure to fill up fast.

OceanWatch celebrates 25 years

Congratulations to OceanWatch Australia which celebrates 25 years of promoting the health and sustainability of Australia's waterways on 21 November - which also happens to be World Fisheries Day.

SFM is a proud supporter of this national not-for-profit environmental company that works to advance sustainability in the Australian seafood industry.

OceanWatch will celebrate with invited supporters, partners and sponsors at a birthday party to be held at Sydney Seafood School.  

OceanWatch's key activities involve:

  • enhancing fish habitats and improving water quality in estuaries and coastal environments;
  • working with industry and local communities to minimise environmental impacts;
  • introducing industry and communities to sustainable technologies and behaviours.

To find out more about OceanWatch and their activities visit their website.

SFM’s 2014 Annual Report out now

SFM’s Annual Report for the 2013/14 financial year is now available on the company’s website and hard copies will be posted out to stakeholders this week.

SFM general manager Bryan Skepper says,“The 2013/14 financial year represents 20 years since the privatisation of SFM on 28 October, 1994. This Annual Report presents not just the results of the last financial year, but also some of the highlights from the last 20 years.

"In my 39 years with the business, I have enjoyed being a part of many of these achievements, and am very proud of the efforts of SFM’s employees over this time. We have faced many challenges, and always come through as a stronger business.”

Staff news

Welcome Justine

SFM welcomes Justine Warren (pictured) who joined SFM in October as the new marketing executive replacing Shanka Dharmaratne. Justine has recently returned to Sydney after living in Cairns for almost 14 years and will be undertaking the role at SFM on a 10 month contract. Justine has extensive experience in marketing with her most recent position being marketing and industry liaison officer at Tourism Tropical North Queensland. Justine proves to be a perfect addition to the SFM team having a background in marine biology.

Welcome Amelia

SFM also welcomes Amelia Maait who joined Sydney Seafood School as the new supplies coordinator in September.
Amelia is part of a cooking club called ‘Gourmet Traveller’, put together by a group of her friends over 25 years ago. Amelia says this was the beginning of her passion for food, cooking and wine. Amelia’s love for food has over ridden the profession she pursued in her early 20s, which was fashion. Amelia is married to a devoted fisherman and has made him a very happy man since taking up a role at Australia's Home of Seafood.

Congratulations Louise

SFM congratulates staff member Louise Shaw and her husband Jon on the birth of their newest family member, Charlie Shaw (pictured). Charlie was born at Royal North Shore Hospital on Wednesday, 3rd September 2014, weighing in at 3.5 kilos. We look forward to meeting little Charlie and hope he is settling into the world nicely.
Copyright © 2014 Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd, All rights reserved.


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