Ever wonder what life’s like in a third-generation family business? Just ask 26-year-old Hayley Abbott, the Operating Manager at Narooma Seafood Direct.
You’ll know them as our popular long-time stallholders, who bring you the freshest in seafood in Australian waters direct from Narooma on the South Coast of NSW. This is a family-run business which catches, processes and sells seafood caught off their two fishing boats.
Hayley has worked on the family fishing boats for as long as she can remember. Her two brothers, Todd and Ryan, are fully qualified skippers and run the family longline boat which works in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery. Her Father John has a NSW state boat that works in the coastal waters around Narooma, and her mum Vicki is the backbone of the family and keeps the show on the road.
The business was started by her grandparents, Dot and Des Creighton, out of Narooma, in 1949 after Des bought his first fishing licence for just two pounds. Over 68 years, her grandfather and father worked many different fisheries including handlining fish like Kingfish, Snapper, Flathead and sharks, beach hauling Salmon and Mullet, poling Southern Bluefin Tuna, processing and exporting scallops to the USA in the 1970s, lobster trapping, drop lining fish, and now longlining fish such as Tuna, Swordfish and Marlin.
Hayley started up Narooma Seafood Direct in 2013 as a side business to the primary fishing business. The whole objective was to generate new markets and create employment for family members so that they could stay in the local area.
They began offering seafood at the Market, which works because they never know what they will or will not catch when fishing so it allowed them to sell what they have available that week, without having to outlay money on stock; they receive weekly feedback from their customers which allows them to continually evaluate what they are doing and how they can do it better; and they were the only seafood stallholder that actually caught their own fish, processed them and sold directly to the public. They have also encouraged the Market owners, managers and customers to inspect their boats and facilities.
Now, as the business continues to expand and confidence in the Australian fishing industry grows, they have taken the big step to build a new fishing vessel which they expect to operate at the end of this month.
You can find Hayley and other members of the Narooma Seafood Direct family at the Market each week where they sell a great range of seafood including Yellowfin Tuna, Bigeye Tuna, Broadbill Swordfish, Striped Marlin, Black Snapper, Wahoo, Flathead, Calamari and fresh and cooked lobster.