Seafood man supports local produce

ATLANTIC Fresh Seafood seller Robert Ingram is a big believer in supporting the Australian fishing industry and tries to sell all Australian produce when he can.

He said about 95 per cent of his seafood was home-grown with the odd piece of Orange Roughy or Lemon Sole sold, imported from New Zealand.

Business is booming off the back of his van in Cobra Street.

"On Sunday, we sold 250 kilograms of Australian prawns," he said.

"People know the difference, they will only buy rubbish once."

NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson encouraged people to support the commercial fishing industry by purchasing Australian seafood this Christmas.

"NSW produces some of the safest and healthiest seafood in the world, both farmed and caught in the wild, with an extensive array of seafood options available," Ms Hodgkinson said.

"Around 70 per cent of the seafood we consume in Australia is imported from overseas.

"Make sure you ask your fishmonger or retailer for some locally-caught or harvested produce and give the local industry a Christmas to remember."

Ms Hodgkinson says many fishers have been struggling to compete against the flood of cheap imports which have entered the market in recent years.

Under NSW labelling laws, all imported products are required to be clearly identified as such at the point of sale.

"If you are unsure of the origin of the product, ask your retailer and if they can't reassure you the product is local then look for a home-grown option elsewhere," Ms Hodgkinson said.

Local sustainable seafood products include mullet, bream, whiting, flathead, kingfish, a variety of oysters, prawns, blue swimmer crabs, mud crabs, and rock lobsters.

"A few tips for selecting fresh seafood include making sure fish springs back when pressed, it has good colour and lustre, and has a fresh sea smell," Ms Hodgkinson said.

"So remember, tucking into locally caught or farmed seafood this festive season will not only taste better but you'll be helping support the state's hard working commercial fishers and fish farmers."

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