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Sydney Fish Market First with Approved Fish Names

AUSTRALIA - Sydney Fish Market and its eight seafood retailers are the first to be licensed under a Scheme for Australia's $2.5 billion seafood Industry.

The Australian Fish Names Brand Scheme was launched at Sydney Fish Market by Minister for Primary Industries, the Hon. Ian Macdonald this week.

The Scheme licenses businesses that comply with the Australian Fish Names Standard. The Standard, more than 20 years in the making, assigns just one name across more than 4,500 seafood species produced or traded in Australia.

"Up until now, some fish species have been known by up to 20 different names depending on what state - or region - the fish were landed, says Grahame Turk, Managing Director of Sydney Fish Market (SFM).

"You not only needed a menu, but an atlas!"

The Standard means more than much-needed simplicity when it comes to ordering seafood.

"Confusion over fish names has been one of the biggest challenges to Australia's seafood industry," Mr Turk said.

"Surveys conducted over the past two decades pinpoint the consistent use of correct fish names, together with the accurate identification of the product's country of origin, as essential to consumer confidence in seafood.

"One name per species also strengthens the management of Australia's fisheries resources together with offering assurances on the accuracy of seafood labelling," Mr Turk said.

Sydney Fish Market, the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, held the first meeting to standardise fish names back in the 1920's.

"We were the first in the industry to appreciate the benefits of a simple naming system which is why we were the first to be licensed under the Australian Fish Names Brand Scheme," said Mr Turk.

"SFM's reputation as a quality seafood supplier was also noted by Scheme administrator Seafood Services Australia (SSA) as a key factor in issuing the much-prized benchmark."

To apply the Standard, all that fishmongers and seafood restaurants need to do is put the old fish name in brackets next to the single, standard name.

Mr Turk says the enthusiasm of Sydney Fish Market retailers - the first in Australia to be licensed under the Standard - augers well for its wider adoption.

"The Australian Fish Names Standard gives retailers and consumers a common language to explore and enjoy the benefits of seafood," Mr Turk said.

A ready-reference to the Australian Fish Names Standard - and changes to fish names - is available at www.fishnames.com.au.

Ellen Hardy

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