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Local fisherman Steven Everson, who has been on the board of the Sydney Fish Markets for the last six months. Image: Lynne Mowbray

Fishing industry working through COVID

Local fisherman Steven Everson is in his first term as a board member of the Sydney Fish Markets.

Mr Everson said that he joined the board about six months ago and despite most of the meetings being conducted via Zoom (at the moment), he is enjoying the challenge of his new position.

“It’s definitely high level,” Mr Everson said.

“With the new Sydney Fish Market being built, there’s been a lot of work that has been put into that, and now we are going through COVID, which is putting pressure on everything.

“We had to make a decision when COVID first started; do we stop or do we try and work through this. But to the credit of the Sydney Fish Market and to the credit of our co-ops and suppliers, we worked through it.

“It was certainly hard, but we got through the first wave of it and the second wave is yet to be seen, but it certainly put a lot of pressure on the industry.

“I’m glad we did keep it going because once we stop marketing, it’s very hard to pick it up again.

“We lost our export markets, so basically the majority of seafood was going through the Sydney Fish Market because everything else was closed down.

“Our own local co-ops – it’s a credit to them as they stuck by us and we pushed through and didn’t stop working.

“In the early parts when COVID first started, the river fishermen worked on quotas. We were lucky that we got through our ‘school prawn’ season before COVID kicked in too hard; we still had to work through some of it where we went on 100-kilo quotas.

“It’s a supply and demand market and there is no use saturating the market; if the demands not there, there’s not much use catching it if you can’t sell it.

“But by just catching a certain amount, that kept everything turning over and we got through it,” he said.