Sunday, June 16, 2024

Seafood stars net industry awards

The seafood industry gathered at Sydney Seafood School in late August to reward the best in seafood excellence at the biennial Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards.

Seafood Awards

The industry’s top seafood retailers, restaurants and suppliers were recognised in nine award categories judged either by industry experts or the public.

The People’s Choice Awards, including the categories of Best Seafood Restaurant, Best Fish and Chips, and Best Seafood Retailer at Sydney Fish Market, were put out to public vote, with more than 5,000 seafood fans voting across the three categories.

Winner of the Best Seafood Restaurant award was Fish Café by Balgowlah Seafoods. Darrons Seafood in Wamberal on the Central Coast was named Best Fish and Chips, while Claudio’s Quality Seafoods was voted the Best Seafood Retailer at Sydney Fish Market.

The individual honour of the night, the Star of the Sea Award, went to Brad Warren, Executive Chair of OceanWatch Australia. Mr Warren was recognised for his service to the seafood industry, particularly in expanding OceanWatch into a nationally recognised organisation, and as a leader in environmental and social sustainability.

De Costi Seafoods at Sydney Fish Market picked up an accolade for Best Seafood Retailer (NSW), with De Costi Seafoods (Holdings) Pty Ltd collecting the Best Seafood Business Award.

The Best Supplier (NSW) award was taken out by Coffs Harbour Fisherman’s Cooperative Ltd. Best Supplier (Interstate or Overseas) was jointly awarded to Clean Seas Ltd in Port Lincoln, SA, and OPC Fish and Lobster, a division of Aotearoa Fisheries, based in Whitianga, New Zealand.

Sustainable and environmental practice carried its own award, with XL Oysters in Port Stephens, NSW, taking out the Excellence in Environmental Practice category. This industry-judged award has become increasingly important for businesses, as seafood lovers are more interested in sustainable seafood practices and scrutinise the origins of the fish they buy.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water Niall Blair, addressing the audience, said each year more than half a billion dollars of economic activity was generated by the NSW seafood industry, and created more than 4,000 jobs.

“The NSW Government is committed to guaranteeing the supply of sustainable and top-quality seafood and ensuring a sustainable future for our valuable marine resources,” he said.

Sydney Fish Market General Manager Bryan Skepper said: “With every Seafood Excellence Awards, the competition gets tougher as seafood businesses become increasingly savvy and customers become more knowledgeable in their seafood choices.

“All nominees for the Seafood Excellence Awards are at the top of their game and deliver in taste, freshness and sustainability. It’s a big tick of approval from the seafood industry to win a Seafood Excellence Award.”

2015 winners:

Category Winner Highly Commended
Excellence in Environmental Practice XL Oysters N/A
Best Supplier (NSW) Coffs Harbour Fisherman’s Co-operative Ltd Wallis Lake Fisherman’s Co-operative Ltd
Best Supplier (Interstate or Overseas) –  joint winners OPC Fish and Lobster (a division of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd) and Clean Seas Ltd Ora King Salmon of The New Zealand King Salmon Pty Limited
Best Seafood Retailer (NSW) De Costi Seafoods – Sydney Fish Market Peter Roan Seafood
Seafood Business Award De Costi Seafoods (Holdings) Pty Ltd Wallis Lake Fisherman’s Co-operative Ltd
Best Fish and Chips (People’s Choice) Darrons Seafood N/A
Best Seafood Restaurant (People’s Choice) Fish Café by Balgowlah Seafoods N/A
Best Seafood Retailer at Sydney Fish Market (People’s Choice) Claudio’s Quality Seafoods N/A
Star of The Sea Award Brad Warren N/A


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