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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sydney Fish Market Christmas Eve 2013

The Sydney Fish Market opened at 5am yesterday (Monday) for its 36 hour Christmas marathon and finishes today (Christmas Eve) at 5pm. The people who came in at 2am this morning, thinking they would drive straight into a parking spot were disappointed, the place was packed. Why?  Because you can't have a Christmas feast without seafood.

Jim Angelakos who has been working the fish markets for over 40 years

They expect to sell 840,000 oysters and 120 tonnes of prawns in two days.

It's not a pleasant experience, coming to the Sydney Fish Markets. It stinks. It's been a dump for years, and unlikely to change.  In the 1990s the market was sold and is now privately owned - half by the retailers and half by the fishermen.

Fishermen Steve Stacey (left) and Brand Doyle

The retailers keep refusing offers to bring the site up to scratch.  Its potential, right on the Sydney waterfront, is huge, but no, they won't be moved.  

In 2010 the state government offered them $20 million but the tenants said redevelopment wouldn't generate sufficient income to support the borrowings needed for the project.  In 2011, the market's chief executive said "I'm ashamed of the place" and so are we.

Another option is a giant king crab from the icy cold waters of Tasmania

So in the meantime, we have to put up with the old facility that is crying out for a refurb - the smell, the seagull poo all over the place and the hopelessly inadequate carpark and if the retailers get their way, it will stay this way for years to come.

So why do we bother?  To buy the best seafood in the world.