Welcome to the Sydney Fish Market photoset, the second series of photosets on Sidpicky.
The Sydney Fish Market (SFM) is the second largest fish market in the Southern Hemisphere after the Tokyo market. This is also the third most popular tourist destination in Sydney It was established by the NSW Government in 1945. In 1994, Sydney Fish Market became a privately owned company (50% by the Catchers Trust and 50% by Sydney Fish Market Tenants and Merchants Pty Ltd) and in 1999, the marketing or selling of seafood was deregulated, meaning seafood no longer had to be sold through the Market in Sydney.
The tagline for the SFM is ‘Get hooked on fresh fish’ and true to its mission the SFM sources product both nationally and internationally and trades over 14,500 tonnes of seafood annually – with up to a hundred species traded every day. That’s a lot of business!
One of the most unique aspects about the SFM is the auction system that takes place at dawn every working day. Held from 5.30am every weekday, the Dutch clock auction is a silent auction which begins at the highest price and drops until a bid is made. The starting price is usually set about $3 above what the product is expected to receive. The clock then winds down at a rate of $1 per revolution and the price drops until a buyer stops the clock by pressing a button. It is a test of buyer’s knowledge of current market prices and a sense of how much your competition is willing to pay for it. The successful buyer then selects a number of crates from the ‘lot’. Two clocks auction seafood simultaneously to ensure product is sold quickly.
Under the Dutch clock auction around 1000 crates are sold every hour. On average each crate weighs 23 kilograms. SFM sells around 2700 crates at every auction, or 65 tonnes of fresh seafood every day.
Here are shots of some Mud Crabs. Generally cooked with their shells on, when they moult their shells, they can be served as a seafood delicacy, one of many types of soft shell crab. Some consider them to be among the tastiest of crab species and they have a huge demand in South Asian countries and Australia. In the northern states of Australia and especially Queensland, mud crabs are relatively common and generally prized above other seafood within the general public.
These are snaps of some snappers (see what I did there) which, is actually a bream and has pinkish skin with pale blue spots and a distinctive forehead hump. The ‘snapper’ is one of Australia’s most widely known fish and has gone by this name for over 100 years.
Disturbing at first glance, these are pictures of some sharks at SFM with their heads cut off to balance the weight to meat ratio. I was assured that shark fishing is highly regulated in Australia and fishermen are forced to follow the most strict regulations when it comes to Shark Fishing.
This is Julie, one of the best Oyster shuckers in the SFM. Watching her work was delightful. She first washes the whole oyster under a steady stream of water and then uses the specialized knife to craft out the oyster with skill and dexterity every single time. Julie can shuck between 2500-3000 oysters a day.
The Sydney Fish Market is open through the year from 7am every day (except Christmas Day) and often for extended trading hours during public holidays. It is one of the most sustainability conscious fish markets in the world.
If you are a Sydneysider or a tourist visiting this beautiful city, I would definitely recommend waking up early and going on the ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour at the Sydney Fish Market. Its a great place for families especially young kids to understand where their fish is coming from.
DON’T FORGET TO TAKE A CHANGE OF CLOTHES THOUGH, THE SMELL IS SURPRISINGLY STICKY….