Markets & Merchants | Oceanwatch Australia

Markets & Merchants

A vast supply chain and transport network provides you with a mouth-watering variety of quality Australian seafood. Once seafood leaves the wharf or the farm gate it is brought to our plate through co-operatives, markets, wholesalers, fishmongers, retail outlets and restaurants.

Although there is no one standardised route for seafood to move from the Tide to the Table, systems are in place through each step in the supply chain to ensure food safety and quality for consumers.



Wholesalers and fishmongers distribute seafood products through the retail and restaurant sector. The seafood is either sourced through seafood markets, or directly from producers.

Wholesalers and fishmongers link the industry producing the seafood with consumers, and are often a major source of information on how to store, handle and prepare your meal.


In NSW, Fishermen's Co-Operatives are owned by fishers and act as their agents to sell their fish. Many Co-Operatives have large retail shops and take away outlets as an essential part of their business.

The fishermen's Co-Operatives have an unrivalled reputation as being the best source of fresh local seafood in their region, and are significant regional employers.



Sydney Fish Market (SFM) is the largest seafood market in the Southern Hemisphere, and the third largest seafood market in terms of variety in the world. SFM sources seafood both nationally and internationally. SFM trades over 14,500 tonnes of seafood annually, with up to one hundred sustainable seafood species traded every day. Approximately 500 species of seafood are traded annually. SFM has been using the Dutch clock auction since 1989. Adopted from the Dutch tulip auctions, the system ensures product is sold quickly while achieving premium prices.

Held from 5.30am every weekday, except public holidays, the Dutch clock auction is a silent auction which begins at the highest price and drops until a bid is made. 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, which equates to an average of 50-55 tonnes of fresh seafood every day.

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