Is that Happy Fish demonstrates sustainably sourced seafood is both good for the ocean and business,
and becomes the gold standard for sustainable seafood in Australia and beyond
(Happy Fish is one small part of a web of initiatives addressing the complex problems facing our oceans. We imagine repopulated and biodiverse ocean ecosystems thanks to greater consciousness and care for our oceans. All fish should be Happy Fish!)
Inspire and empower fishermen right through to the end consumer to think and act sustainably when sourcing seafood
By making it ridiculously easy for seafood sellers and consumers to know what seafood
is sustainable? where to get it? and track it all the way back to the ocean and fishers.
Building transparency, accountability and trust in supply chains, empowers conscious consumers
to vote for the way fish are caught, sold and valued; and it empowers seafood sellers to confidently
differentiate their seafood as sustainable.
Happy Fish is part of the ‘slow movement’ with its emphasis on food provenance, responsible fishing practices,
and celebrating the stories of the people, places and the fish’s journey to your plate,
Happy Fish Bondi was started by Bondi Beach locals alarmed to discover the extent of fish and
ocean and ecosystem decline. It’s evolved into an enterprise founded on passion,
practical solutions and extensive ocean-to-plate networks. Our commitment is to encourage
ocean stewardship through reward for those who do the right thing.
We start by creating transparent and traceable supply chains with the best and most committed operators from ocean-to-plate
Happy Fish began in Autumn 2012 at a screening of a devastating film about the state of global fisheries.
Unaware a local councillor was present, I bemoaned Council’s environmental inaction. The councillor then challenged me to ‘walk the talk’. I remained cynical until a few months down the track a group of us invited leading seafood industry, restaurateurs and NGOs to a meeting to help make Bondi Beach Australia’s first sustainable seafood destination.
The night of the meeting turned on a wild freak storm, aptly reminding us that nature rules and the chemistry of attendees was volatile. The marine and fishing world is a polarised minefield of passionately held and often divisive positions. Many present had never sat in the same space. But amazingly it was all peace and love in our times with 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 current 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!
Founder, Happy Fish
Happy Fish is founded on goodwill and diverse ocean-to-plate networks.
Gratitude to our terrific ambassadors for their support. I’m in awe of the dedication demonstrated
by time-poor chefs, suppliers, marine scientists, fishers, environmental advocates, artists and many
others who’ve generously donated enthusiasm, time, knowledge and support to the Happy Fish program.
It wouldn’t have happened without you!
Transition Bondi and Peter Dowson for nurturing HF & me, Prue Cancian for pushing the idea, Sea Shepherdess Fiona McCuaig’s tireless barracking for the oceans, Cathy Quinn’s mentorship, MSC’s Patrick Caleo & Charlotte Connell, Jules Crocker of Joto who insisted on the need for traceability and brought Duncan Leadbitter into the fray, Duncan for his many fathoms-deep fish wisdom and industry knowledge
AMCS’s Toohni Mahto and Joshua Coates collaborative spirit, Greenpeace, Nature Conservation Council, Dr Trevor Ward, Taronga Zoo, and Waverley Council’s environment department who give up their weekends to help us community groups.
Sydney Fish Markets, the Masterfishermen, FRDC, WWF, photographers Paul & George Caddy and aptly named Richard Ling, Good for Nothing, Andy Fackrell, artists Sarah Tooth, Simon Letch & Adam Long.
Jo Webb for her stewardship and coaching, website designer Pete Derbyshire of Webthinking for his patience and pursuit of excellence, Elizabeth Macdonald’s web strategy and content editing, all our Ambassadors,
the passionate pilot businesses who are in this because they know it’s the way to go: fishers the Byrnes brothers; 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….
Happy Fish is a project of not-for-profit Transition Sydney Incorporated