Sydney Fish Market

Sydney Fish Market is an authentic fisherman’s market! It’s the largest working fish market in the Southern Hemisphere. Sydney Fish Market is open 7 days a week and most public holidays too. Coming down to the Sydney Fish Market on a major public holiday is a fantastic experience, a true marketplace!

The Origination of Sydney Fish Market

The Sydney Fish Market was established in 1945. In this year, the Chief Secretary’s Department cancelled all the licenses held by the independent fish agents and established a centralised market system. This is system remained in place until 1984.

Sydney Fish Market was originally based in Haymarket. In 1966 it moved to it’s current location of Blackwattle Bay. In these days fish was sold using the old school method of a voice auction system. This setup was hugely labour intensive and had many errors. But, as the old fishmongers say “ The Sydney Fish Market was a lot of fun, but quite hostile at times”.

In October 1989 The Sydney Fish Market introduced the Dutch Auction System. This is basically a reverse auction system. This system has been used for the previous 130 years to sell tulips in Amsterdam. Sydney Fish Market sets the price approximately $3 higher than the approximate market price. After bidding begins the clock winds down at $1 per revolution and the price drops until a buyer stops the clock. To stop the clock, you must press a button, although most people seem to slam them quickly.

To modernize the setup in February 2004 Sydney Fish Markets installed 3 video projectors to make the auction clocks larger and easier to read. There are over 200 buyers bidding each morning and this made thing much easier for them. This Dutch auction method relies on the buyer to know the average market price of the product. It also helps the buyers to know what all the other bidders are looking to buy that day. An experienced buyer checks the floor prior to the auction to assess stock levels and lot quality of the day. Every day is totally different, stock levels and species change all the time. The majority of the seafood sold at the Sydney Fish Market is from the Australian coastline. New Zealand also has a thriving fish industry and many of their fish make it to the auction floor too.

Approximately 1,000 crates or 20,000kg of seafood is sold every single hour through the auction.This equates to an average of 40 tonnes of fresh seafood traded every single week day.

A large part of the Sydney Fish Market is the Sydney Seafood School which sees over 12,000 participants through its door each year.

A few facts about Sydney Fish Market

– Sydney Fish Market is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and the 3rd largest fish market in the world in terms of variety.

– Over 14,500 tonnes of seafood comes through the market annually of which over half is harvested in NSW.

– There are over 2.7 million visitors annually which is more than the Sydney tower, the Art Gallery of NSW and the Powerhouse Museum combined.

To find out further information about the Sydney Fish market click here. They also have a great facebook page, which you can see here and a cool twitter feed which is found here.

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