Our Story 2017-11-30T05:13:02+00:00


Our grand vision is to make Bondi Beach
Australia’s 1st sustainable seafood destination
and be a role model not just nationally but internationally


Inspire, empower and reward seafood sellers and consumers
that source seafood sustainably


By making it ridiculously simple and fun to know what seafood’s sustainable?
where to get it? and track the fish on your plate all the way back to the fisher


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 early stage start-up, 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. This is a complex and
fascinating task involving creating transparent and traceable supply chains
with the best and most committed operators from ocean-to-plate


Back in Autumn 2012 I saw a devastating film about the state of global fisheries.
This was the beginnings of Happy Fish.

What followed was an invitation to leading seafood industry,
restaurateurs and NGOs to muck in and help us realise our grand vision
making Bondi Beach Australia’s first sustainable seafood destination.
Ever the shrinking do-gooder, I felt it well-meaning but a naive and unlikely proposition.

Come the night of the meeting, nature turned on the sort of wild storm that makes for chaos,
lightning bolts and blackouts. It was an apt reminder that nature rules and the chemistry of the attendees
was anything but stable. A disparate crew packed into a tiny Bondi Pavilion room. Many present knew of each other
but had never sat in the same space, and as the marine and fishing world is a polarised minefield,
it seemed quite possible the electrical storm might find its way into the meeting space.
Yet what emerged was palpable enthusiasm crystallising around common purpose,
a shared belief that the interests of the fishermen and fishing industry can best be served by responsible
fishing practices. And on this wave of solidarity my hard-won skepticism was no longer at home

From this meeting many relationships have evolved that give Happy Fish its current form.
The 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!

I am so pleased to be launching the pilot project that will provide you with a way to track and verify
the provenance of your seafood, all the way back to the ocean,
and reward seafood sellers who make the extra effort



Sandra Marshall
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 may not been mentioned….

Happy Fish is a project of Transition Sydney Incorporated, a not-for-profit association. During the pilot period, Happy Fish will continue its incubation under the auspices of Transition Sydney Incorporated