There is no doubt about it, Australians love their seafood at Christmas time. Many families no longer bother with the European style traditional hot lunch and have come to rejoice in the warmer weather, with fresh seafood and salad Christmas fare to enjoy al fresco with family and friends.
The associated demand for seafood at Christmas time is extraordinary. Here at Dawsons last Christmas we sold 1.8 tonnes of prawns, 8467 dozen oysters, 115kgs of fresh fish, and 100kgs of crustaceans (bugs, crabs, lobsters). At the Sydney Fish Market in just 36 hours, they sold 200 tonnes of prawns, 75,000 dozen oysters and in total expect to sell over 750 tonnes of seafood this Christmas.
Such high demand puts enormous pressure on the industry and the people that work within it. Fishers, retailers and aquafarmers have to work tirelessly around the clock to deliver the stock to consumers and it’s been a very trying time for the industry as a whole over the past couple of years. Covid, flood and fire has resulted in many businesses having to close their doors, or supply being badly affected. Prices reflect this supply pressure, as well as the fact that this is the time of year where smaller operators earn enough income to get them through the quieter months.
It's not all doom and gloom, however. The industry as a whole is showing some buoyancy with seafood remaining at the top of consumer demand over the festive season and a return to pre-covid consumption levels. The heavy rainfall of La Niña has resulted in a bumper prawn season ahead. The ever-popular crustacean relies on land rainfall to flush nutrients into their environment and this means we can expect juicier and tastier prawns this Christmas.
Festive Seafood on a Budget
With interest rates on the rise and cost of living skyrocketing, many people are looking at ways to save money. We’ve put together some ideas on how to enjoy our fabulous seafood if you’re watching your household budget. There is no reason to scrimp on the seafood this Christmas with these great budgeting tips:
- Buy green prawns and cook them yourself. Green prawns are usually $10 a kilo cheaper than cooked fresh prawns at Xmas. If you’re not sure how to cook them, check out this link here.
- Octopus, squid and mussels are all great options and stay relatively cheap all year round. Octopus and Squid are also a delicious BBQ option – check out our recipe for Stuffed BBQ Squid.
- Buy unopened oysters and give opening or shucking a go! Customers can save up to $5 p/dozen if they buy unopened oysters. Watch this great video on how to shuck your own oysters.
- Whole fish like Snapper and Baby Baramundi not only look great on the table, but are cheaper than pre filleted options like salmon, trout or barramundi. Here at Dawsons, the whole fish we sell are all cleaned (de scaled and gutted). Why not try our recipe for Ginger and Lemongrass Whole Baked Snapper?
- Don’t forget we also sell a range of gifts including some amazing cookbooks, gift vouchers, T-shirts and other merch, oyster shucking knives, produce like sauces and chutneys + lots more! Why not put together a seafood gift basket?
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