Happy Fish was started by volunteer Bondi Beach locals alarmed to discover the extent of fish and ocean ecosystem decline. Fast forward a few years, we have developed extensive networks from ocean-to-plate and evolved into a social enterprise committed to creating environmental and social benefits.
We are on a mission to support healthy oceans by making it ridiculously simple and fun for seafood sellers and consumers to know What fish is sustainable? Where to get it? and Track the fish all the way back to the ocean. With a simple swipe of your phone uncover the story of Who? How? and Where your fish was caught?
I put my foot in it in autumn 2012. In a discussion about a devastating film on the state of global fisheries, I bemoaned Council’s environmental inaction.
Unbeknown to me there was a local councillor present who challenged me to ‘walk the talk’. A few months later a group of us invited leading seafood industry, restaurateurs and NGOs to a meeting. The invite was simple: Help make Bondi Beach Australia’s first sustainable seafood destination!
The marine and fishing world is a polarised minefield of passionate and often divisive positions. Come the night of the meeting, a wild freak storm was an apt reminder of the volatile chemistry of the meeting attendees. Amazingly what emerged was an easy alignment and a palpable enthusiasm crystallising around the simple belief that fishers and fishing industry can best be served by responsible fishing practices.
Many relationships have evolved from this beginning, giving Happy Fish its collaborative form. The marine and seafood community’s passion for the oceans, fish and fishing is rare and infectious. It’s a fascinating ecosystem with fascinating characters, and it is easy to get hooked!
Happy Fish Founder
Happy Fish has been born out of a strong desire of many, to see a better state of play in our ocean ecosystems and the industries that benefit from them. The lifeblood of Happy Fish is collaboration with incredibly diverse ocean-to-plate networks. It has been inspiring and a pleasure to receive the backing from our terrific ambassadors, time-poor chefs, suppliers, marine scientists, fishers, environmental advocates, artists and many others who’ve generously donated, time, knowledge and enthusiasm. It wouldn’t have happened without you!
Specific shout outs to ….Prue Cancian for pushing the idea, Transition Bondi for incubating the idea, Duncan Leadbitter for his fathoms-deep fish wisdom and industry knowledge, Peter Dowson’s mentoring, Sea Shepherdess Fiona McCuaig, Cathy Quinn, MSC’s Patrick Caleo & Charlotte Connell, Jules Crocker of Joto insisting on traceability and introducing Duncan Leadbitter, AMCS’s Toohni Mahto and Joshua Coates, Greenpeace, Nature Conservation Council, marine scientists Prof David Booth and Dr Trevor Ward, Taronga Zoo, Waverley Council’s environment department, Sydney Fish Markets, the Masterfishermen, FRDC, WWF, photographers Paul & George Caddy and Richard Ling, Good for Nothing, Andy Fackrell, artists Sarah Tooth, Simon Letch & Adam Long. Mitch Standen for his inspired business leadership, Jo Webb, Anne McArthur, website designer Pete Derbyshire of Webthinking for his patience and pursuit of excellence, Elizabeth Macdonald, our Ambassadors, the passionate pilot businesses who are in this because they know it’s the way to go: fishers Neville Clarke, Brett and Kallan Cripps and Tracy and Glen Hill, restaurateurs Joel Best and Three Blue Ducks,Barry and Helena from the fish shop The One that Got Way, Market research conducted by Sydney TAFE Peter Heywood’s senior market research students, and later UNSW School of Business’s Dr Song Ting Dong’s undergraduate and masters students and anyone else who’s contributed and not been mentioned THANK YOU!
Happy Fish is a project of not-for-profit Transition Sydney Incorporated