Friday, December 19, 2008

Less Fishy Than A Labour Party Fund Raiser

Just for fun, this morning Adolf got up at 0430 and drifted over to the Auckland Fish Markets.

Welcome to Auckland Fish Market

I've always wanted to see how the fish we buy is traded before it hits the fish shops and chipperies but until now have never made the effort to go and actually do it.

The most remarkable aspect of a very clever and smooth operation was the complete absence of any 'fishy' smell. That''s got to be a good sign.

The chiller room was open at 0500 for lots to be inspected and noted prior to the auction starting at 0600. I saw species I of which I had never heard and will never eat.

You have to be really quick or you miss out. Everything is computerised and electronic so you sit at a desk and watch the price for your desired 'lot' come steadily down until you press your button. At that moment you own the bin or bins of fish at the 'clock stopped' price - or you miss out if someone beat you to the button.

I was amazed at the prices paid for some species. $5.50 per Kg for school shark - no wonder lemon fish sells retail for as much as $22.00. $5.00 for grey mullet compared with $2.30 to 5.00 for trevally and $5.00 for terakihi. Snapper ranged from $6.40 to $9.50.

When you consider that 'green fish' (guts in, scales on) yield about 33% fillets it's easy to see why snapper fillets cost up to $35/kg retail.

Another surprise was to see that of the sixty or so buyers present, at least sixty percent would have been Asians.


Anonymous said...

Adolf, If you are ever passing through Sydney, the Fish Market in Blackwattle Bay is also an eye opener. 2nd biggest in the world behind Tokyo if you measure it on species handled and it is very close to the CBD.

I was amazed at the amount of NZ origin fresh fish traded and at very competitive prices.


Bok said...

It is one of my favourite places. Took a couple of my mate who was visiting from Auckland there last week. All fishos, and very angry that NZ snapper is for sale here at 12.50 per kg and more than $23.00 pkg in NZ (Gutted but but not filleted)

The Sydney fish market has a number of places to eat, and it's great eating. For $38 you get a seafood platter that includes half a cray (mornay) 6 oysters of various preparations, Calamari, baby octopus, two soft shell crabs, some blue swimmer crabs, two fish fillets, a whole lot of prawns in various forms and chips. There is a deli, a vege shop and a wine shop as well. So you buy a few bottle of wine and a platter, and forget about socialists and credit crunches, thieving pollies and other problems for a while.

Falafulu Fisi said...

Hey Adolf, I was at the fish market (Halsey St, at the Viaduct) the other day and I bought some nice Hapuka (a few kgs) to make a raw-fish dish (with coconut cream). I talked to one person, whos uncle is a fisherman (of course he was buying fish too - and I wondered if he doesn't get free fish from his uncle) and he told me, that one reason that fish price is high (in local market price) is because of the quotas that the government is allocating to fishermen.

I wondered if this is something that the government would relax so that fishermen could compete based on their effort to catch the maximum as they can rather than the law dictating to them how much can they fish out. I think if we let the free market work out such that fishermen can compete without any quota, then the price would come down. Good for consumers.