If there’s ever an excuse to eat fish and chips for breakfast, Good Friday is definitely it.
A bustling crowd tucked into everything from salmon to squid at the Sydney Fish Market (SFM), by the shores of the harbour at Pyrmont, on Good Friday morning.
And they were just the ones who chose to eat their purchases on site.
Fifty thousand people are expected to flock to the fish market on Friday for the biggest trading day of the year, with some arriving as early as 3am.
Later in the morning Melissa Rose and her mother Lynne Lopa were on their way home with bags busting full of Moreton Bay bugs, prawns, sashimi and tuna.
The two women have been to the fish markets for more than 30 years to buy fresh seafood for their annual Easter family feast.
“This is our tradition since I was a kid,” Rose said.
“We’re not allowed to have a shower or do our hair or make-up. It’s liberating; we usually don’t leave the house without our lippy on.”
For another punter, Ray Pavlovik, Good Friday morning is always a boys’ affair.
Every year he and his brothers arrive at 5.30am to have breakfast and buy up big for an extended-family lunch that’s washed down with a few cold beers.
This year marked the initiation of Pavlovik’s three-year-old son Lucas, who helped dad pick the best prawns, oysters, mussels and calamari.
“The little guy joined us for the first time this morning,” Mr Pavlovik said.
About 370 tonnes of seafood are tipped to be sold in one monster day at the market, with sales estimated to better last year’s $22-million haul.
But Suraj Lama, who manages the oysters at Nicholas Seafood Traders, said the morning’s business wasn’t as busy as he’d expected.
“It’s not like last year,” said Mr Lama, who started work at 2am.
“We were expecting more. But we still got smashed at 4.30 this morning.”
Lama said the flathead and Tasmanian salmon had been a hit so far.
When it came to freshly shucked oysters, the Sydney rock range from NSW’s Pambula, Wallis Lake and Merimbula were the winners, with the creamier soft-shell type from Tasmania’s Cloudy Bay also popular.
“When you eat oysters they have to be not to creamy and not too watery,” Mr Lama said.
“Pambulas are the perfect ones because they have the taste of the rock sea, and Australians love that taste.”
Over at Doyles, seller Camelia Uura was bargaining with two men over the price of 20 two-kilogram mud crabs.
“Mud crabs are expensive right now – $69 for one that size is a very good price for Easter,” she said.
*Sydney Fish Market is open from 5am to 5pm on Good Friday, and 7am-4pm from Saturday to Monday.