Fish Market Report

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Sydney Fish Market

Joanne Pan 12FT

Sydney Fish Market

Sydney Fish Market (SFM) is Australia’s premier seafood centre of excellence and authentic fishermen’s market. It is the largest fish market in the southern hemisphere and the second largest in the world for range of species. It was established by the NSW government in 1945. The selling of seafood was regulated by the government from 1945 to 1999 and the seafood that was landed in NSW was required to be sold through the NSW Fish Marketing Authority. In 1994 Sydney Fish market became a privately owned company and in 1999, seafood no longer had to be sold through the Market in Sydney.

Sydney Fish Market is located in Blackwattle Bay and trades around 50 tonnes of seafood daily. It was once located in Hay Mark but the market had to be closer to water, so in 1960 it got shifted to Blackwattle Bay. Over 2 million visitors, locally and internationally, go through their doors every year. Sydney Fish Market is one of Sydney’s great fishing and harbour side icons.

Levels of operation and mechanisation

Sydney Fish Market is a type large company business. It has about 67 staff members who operate the trading and promotion of the fish market, and they have turned the fish market to a tourist location; a place to buy the freshest seafood in Sydney and it also has a seafood school, known as Sydney Seafood School.

Sydney Fish Market trading uses an auction system. Sydney Fish Market has used the Dutch auction since 1989, which was adopted from the Dutch tulip auctions. This system was introduced to ensure that the products are sold quickly and at good prices.

At 5:30am every week Monday to Friday mornings, the Dutch clock auction is a silent auction. The Dutch clock auction system works by using two big clocks located at the centre of the auction hall, along with another board to show comments on the product. Information shown may include REM- remaining of crates to be sold and MAX- Maximum number of crates a buyer may purchase in the current sale.

Below the auction clocks and the buyers, there are two people which operate the clocks to ensure that the auction runs smoothly. All around these two people are thousands of crates of seafood ready to be sold. Around 1000 crates are sold every hour which weighs on average 23kg each. Around 2700 crates are sold in every auction.

The auction usually begins $1 above the old price and drops until someone bids, both clocks auctioning seafood constantly so the products are sold quickly. When the red dot takes a revolution around the clock, the price of product will reduce by a dollar.

Buyers in an auction consist of retails, contract guys buying for retail shops and local fishermen. They are usually seated on the top where the clocks are visible. All buyers have to be registered before they can bid in an auction. The registration may be done online. At 4:30am are allowed to look at the produce, where they jot down the section and row of the produce they want. After this the auction begins. Buyers should have their credit check, a weekly credit limit and a PIN number, which is given to them when they register. Buyers can spend up to their credit limit and this account is paid weekly.

To make a bid, the buyers must enter their 6 digit log on the grandstand of where they sit to be able to bid. Each terminal has two buttons which allows buyers to participate in two auctions at once. If buyers make an error they have two seconds to fix it. After the auctions the buyers go to the invoicing stations, which are like ATM machines, where the buyers input their log on number. Buyers are then able to print their invoices and removal docket, and check the balance of their account. Once buyers have done this they are able to collect their seafood.

Though the majority of seafood is sold through the Dutch auction system, there are still two sections which are done...
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