This year we could not celebrate local, sustainable seafood in the usual way, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, this year the professional fishermen of South West Rocks donated their product to indigenous communities on the NSW north coast, those whose ancestors fished these shores long before the fisherman of today, some of whom still continue to fish these shores today. In a time when people are struggling with isolation, and food and job insecurity, these professional fishermen have chosen to give back to the communities and in doing so are recognising the original stewards of our oceans.
Loaves and Fishes is a free seafood barbeque, which has aimed to build community knowledge, unity and support for sustainable Australian wild harvest fisheries. Each year we have seen this event grow, as more and more of the community join the South West Rocks ocean haul fishermen and the local Surf Life Saving Club in celebrating sustainable Australian seafood.
In addition to the sea mullet barbeque, the event has aimed to improve community awareness and understanding of the NSW Ocean Haul Fishery. This event provides the community with detailed information on ocean haul fishing methods, the history of fishing in the region, indigenous participation, and the role of women in industry.
We hope everyone is staying safe during this time, we will see you next year at the 11th annual Loaves and Fishes event!