It’s been a horror year so far for FishCo, but the flip side this Easter is a net-full of bargains for seafood lovers looking for their traditional Good Friday fix.
The Fyshwick seafood outlet next to the Fresh Food Markets first had to contend with the bushfire impact on South Coast suppliers, then January’s hailstorm caused hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to their Dalby Street premises.
Now the coronavirus containment measures have destroyed the wholesale restaurant market, which was 60 per cent of FishCo’s trade.
“I could not believe we would go through anything like this,” says one of the directors, John Fragopoulis.
A move to home deliveries came ”better late than never” but has allowed the business to retain staff and keep its head above water.
Another strategy has been to add groceries and fruit and vegetables to the usual offering, which means a more compact seafood display.
But the reduced demand for wholesale and export products means that during the second biggest week of the year for seafood, there is plenty of it at lower prices than usual.
”It’s the right time to enjoy Australian seafood,” says John.
John says prawns, in particular, are about $10 a kilo cheaper this year, with extra large kings at $40, tigers at $35 and South Australian large kings caught this week at $30.
Among the fish, he recommends blue-eye cod, saltwater-farmed barramundi, snapper and John Dory from $25 to $30 a kilo for the whole fish.
And Omega-3-rich farmed Atlantic salmon from Tasmania is the cheapest it’s been for five years after the loss of export markets.
But John’s personal pick is red mullet, a small, sweet fish.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 measures mean customers won’t be able to enjoy the try-before-you-buy market experience and social distancing arrangements and cashless payment will be in place.
FishCo is open Thursday and Good Friday until stocks last.
Across the road at the markets, Sea Harvest and Ocean Fresh will also open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.
John’s seafood advice holds true wherever you shop: it’s not the most expensive but always the freshest that is best.