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  • intouch Magazine

What’s Cooking at The Co-Op!


If you love seafood, and you want it to be as fresh as possible – then a trip to the Fisherman’s Cooperative is a must! This month we caught up with Robert Gauta to find out a little more about the 'Co-Op.'

 

Hi Robert! Can you tell us a bit about the Fisherman's Cooperative?

The Co-op commenced providing services to local commercial fishers in 1945, with the main goal being to get Co-op members' catch to market. Today we have six receiving depots located over a 200km coastline area between Tuggerah and Seal Rocks, with three of our own retail stores at Wickham, Tacoma and Swansea. We manage other tenancies (including restaurants, retail and office space) and employ over 50 local people. We have 105 members who are active commercial fishers in this region and receive about 200 different species during the year from members. The Co-op is the single largest NSW supplier of Fresh Seafood to Sydney Fish Market, the largest Fish Market in the Southern Hemisphere, and represents approximately 10% of NSW Supply.


What does a typical day at the Co-Op look like?

Work begins early preparing deliveries to our retail stores and preparing for the day's trade. Ice is harvested for the day's catch and seafood displays. Fishermen begin to come in and unload their product. We are also constantly sourcing the best possible product from other areas such as Coffs Harbour, Wallis Lake and all over NSW. Product is purchased for retail and wholesale local sales; the remainder is loaded to be transported to Sydney Fish Market in the afternoon for Auction the next morning.


What can people expect to find at 'The Co-Op' if they've never been before? What are the differences between the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle venues?

The Co-op stocks fresh local seafood, and we sell over 190 types of seafood over the course of the year. So basically - if it's not in stock, it hasn't been caught. Tacoma and Swansea stores are much smaller than our Wickham store. However, customers can ask the staff to get any product in from Wickham if available.


And finally - what's in season in May that we should be looking out for?

May is in the midst of our King Prawn season. Weather permitting, our fishers will unload last night's catch in the mornings, ready for sale in our shops. The "Mullet Run" is in full swing. Fresh Local Mullet caught off our beaches will be available as they are harvested.

 

For more information visit www.fishcoop.com.au

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