Mark’s Trip to Vietnam

Mark is currently in Vietnam for a fishing Conference with his friend Darren.

On arriving at Vietnam, this is what he had to say on his first day there:

Vietfish was unreal – the work that they put into this event is a credit to the Fishing and Seafood Industries and Government.

Vietfish 2016 Seafood Conference

Vietfish 2016 Seafood Conference


Darren and Mark at Vietfish 2016


My first day in Vietnam: I am a bit lost for words. It was a huge culture shock. In amongst the chaos, things happen; work gets done! 


In amongst the chaos, things happen; work gets done!

I had a great flight over and had a good sleep on the plane.  There are10 million people in Saigon and 9 million motorbikes!

Holy moley!  It is amazing how smooth traffic flows without traffic lights or rules!!

Traffic flows without traffic lights on rules

Traffic flows smoothly without traffic lights or rules

We went on an 1 hour ride on the back of a scooter. It  was a little bit scary at first but ended up loving it.  It was the highlight so far. 


Going for a ride on a scooter. Hmmm…where do I sit? 🙂

The service here is very good.  We could get some great skills from the staff over here. 

We are heading to Mekong Delta to look at a fish farm and will try to write more over coming days. Will try and send some photos. 

Mark the Chef

Mark the Chef


Mark with Chef at a Saigon Cooking Class


Having a great adventure. Missing everyone. Mark. 

You can read about my next ventures in Mark’s Trip to Vietnam, Part Two.


Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

27,000 Signatures go to Parliament House protesting the Proposed Net Ban

Here is the latest press release from the Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) QSIA MR_Net Free Zones Petition_14 Sept 2015

and from Deb Frecklington MP MR_State News_Frecklington fights for sustainable fishing

regarding the proposed Net Ban.

Deb Frecklington MP and others at Parliament House

Deb Frecklington MP and others at Parliament House


It was also featured on Channel 7 aired, Wednesday 16th September:

Net-free Zones could Jeopardise Jobs

Net-free Zones could Jeopardise Jobs

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Proposed Net Fishing Ban: 4MK chats with Mark Ahern

Mark caught up with Barry Hamilton (Hammo) from 4MK and raised our concerns about the proposed commercial net fishing bans. Specifically the impacts the ban would have on the supply of local fish to the Mackay community.

If you would like to support our cause, you can email Jim Pierce at and briefly explain why you don’t want the bans to take effect. ie: I want to eat locally caught fish.

You can also sign our petition, by clicking on this link:

For more information on how our meeting went with our local MP, click here:

For more information on how a ban on net fishing affects you, click here:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Here is another great simple but healthy recipe by resident Chef, Craig.  If you’re not a trevally fan any other firm white fish will go well with this recipe such as Blue Salmon, Barramundi or King Salmon.


1 medium ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into a 1/4-inch dice

¼ cup roughly chopped coriander leaves

1 medium garlic clove, minced

Juice of 1 lime

½ teaspoon hot sauce

Sea salt

Olive oil

4 x skinless trevally, or other firm white fish fillets

4 x 8-inch flour tortillas


1.In a medium bowl, toss the mango with the coriander, garlic, lime juice and hot sauce.

2.Season with salt.

3.Light a grill and brush the grates with oil.

4.Season the fish with salt and grill over a high heat, turning once, until charred on the outside and opaque throughout. This will take about 4 minutes each side.

5.Grill the tortillas until warm and lightly charred, about 30 seconds each side.

6.Top the tortillas with the fish and the mango salsa.

7.Fold the tortillas over the filling and serve immediately.

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Posted in Fish Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More from our meeting with Julieanne Gilbert MP yesterday

Yesterday we met with the Right Hon. Julieanne Gilbert MP for Mackay.  We raised our concerns on how the proposed ban on commercial net fishing would affect the local economy; the local businesses, how it will also affect our staff and their families and just as importantly our customers who come to our shop or other business like ours to buy their local fresh seafood.

The Right Hon Julieanne Gilbert MP

The Right Hon. Julieanne Gilbert MP for Mackay


We showed Julieanne the map of the area for the proposed ban; which shows the green zones and the yellow zones which are  already no-go zones for commercial fisheries except when we are harvesting for bait.  The proposed area for the ban is the blue area on the top left, at St. Helen’s Bay, through to the creeks at Seaforth right down to the Ball Bay at Cape Hillsborough, in the bottom right.


Map of Existing Green and Yellow Zones, with Proposed Area for Commercial Net Fishing Ban


If our commercial fishermen are unable to fish these areas, this will have a drastic effect on the amount of Barramundi, Mullet, King and Blue Salmon etc. that we can provide to our customers, we explained.  We also showed Julianne the large amount of support we have had on Social Media and on the ground with signatures and comments on the petition we have had running for just a couple of weeks so far.


Julieanne was extremely generous with her time and showed a genuine interest to our concerns. We believe that she has now heard both sides to the story.  We left the meeting positive; and felt we had a fair hearing.  We want to thank Julianne Gilbert for meeting with us and hope that there is a workable solution in the very near future.


You can sign our petition, by clicking on this link:

If you want to hear 4MK chats with Mark Ahern , click here:

For more information on how a ban on net fishing affects you, click here:


Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How a Ban on Net Fishing Affects the Consumer

1. What is the petition about?
Our petition is calling to stop the ban on commercial net fishing and open recreation-only areas in the Mackay region.

2. Which areas are affected?
St Helen’s Beach – Cape Hillsborough, North of Mackay.
Yeppoon / Keppel Bay / Fitzroy River, Capricorn.
Trinity Bay, Cairns.

3. How does this affect the consumer?
60% of the fish we sell at Debbie’s Seafood comes from the areas mentioned above.

If our fishermen can’t fish there, that would mean less choice of local fish for the customer and more imported fish.

90% of the community in Mackay do not fish for recreation and rely on places like Debbie’s Seafood for their fresh fish and seafood.

4. Is all of your seafood local?
About 90% of the fish we bring into the shop is from the Mackay region.

The rest of our fish is either from New Zealand or Tassie.

5. Net fishing. Isn’t that damaging to the environment? Doesn’t everything get caught in the net?
Commercial fisheries use specific nets to target specific species and the nets are a specific weight, depending on the species.  With barramundi, for example, our fishermen have adopted a practice that is currently practiced in the gulf, where the maximum sized net is 6.5 inches. Any  smaller fish will simply swim right through.

Commercial fishing is heavily regulated paying particular attention to fishing seasons, weekend closures, legal sizes of fish, green and yellow zones.


6. What are green and yellow zones?
Green zones are a no-go zone for both recreational fishermen and commercial fishers.

Yellow zones are a no-go area for commercial fishers except when they are catching bait to which they would use a much smaller sized net.  The bait of course, then becomes available for recreational fisherman or commercial line fishers.

7. Don’t turtles and dugongs get caught?
Net entanglements in turtles are relatively rare and they are often able to shake free from the nets alive. Commercial fishermen have done an Endangered Species course enabling them to resuscitate turtles if required anyway. Besides, most responsible fishers generally know which areas the turtles feed in. Regarding dugongs, sightings and interactions are rarer than turtles. The highest risk areas for potential interactions are in seagrass areas and local fishers generally know areas that they frequent and avoid the area.

If you buy your fish at a shop or a market and you live in the Mackay area, this could affect your choice of fish in the future.



You can sign our petition, by clicking on this link:

If you want to hear 4MK chats with Mark Ahern , click here:

If you want to hear more about our meeting with our local MP, click here:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stuffed Capsicums

At Debbie’s Seafood, we love large local prawns and what better way to enjoy local prawns than with this healthy and simple recipe with rice and capsicums.

Let us know how you get on!


500-750g medium to large-sized prawns

½ cup finely chopped onion

½ cup finely chopped celery

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ cup tomato sauce

¼ cup bread crumbs

6 medium-large capsicums

Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

2-3 cups cooked rice (depending on capsicum size)


1. Set aside 6-12 whole prawns (depending on size). Cut remaining prawns into small pieces.

2. Sauté onion and celery in butter until tender.

3. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, both peppers and tomato sauce.

4. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, add diced prawns and cooked rice, and mix thoroughly.

5. Cut off stem end of capsicums, slice the top of capsicum to create a lid, remove seeds and simmer capsicums in 2 cups of hot salty water for 5 mins.

6. Drain capsicums and fill with prawn mixture.

7. Top each capsicum with bread crumbs and a knob of butter.

8. Place stuff capsicums in a greased casserole dish, bake in moderately low oven (160C) for about 30 minutes: the first 20 minutes covered and the final 10 minutes uncovered.

9. Garnish with whole prawns.

4. Stuffed Capsicums

Posted in Fish Recipes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

King Salmon, Malborough Sounds, NZ

We at Debbie’s Seafood are rather excited at the latest addition to our shop. Our King Salmon is from the Malborough Sounds in New Zealand.  The King Salmon is farmed in the top end of the South Island and can be traced back 5 generations!!  When we tried the salmon a couple of weeks ago, we fell in love with it, and couldn’t wait to order some in for our customers to experience too!  Here is a selection of some of the New Zealand King Salmon products we have available in the shop.

New Zealand King Salmon -Manuka Smoked -Sliced

New Zealand King Salmon -Manuka Smoked -Sliced

New Zealand King Salmon  - Smoked Pastrami

New Zealand King Salmon – Smoked Pastrami











New Zealand King Salmon Wood Roast Nibbles - Salsa

New Zealand King Salmon Wood Roast Nibbles – Salsa

New Zealand King Salmon - Wood Roast Salmon portions

New Zealand King Salmon – Wood Roast Salmon portions

New Zealand King Salmon - Marinated Gravalax

New Zealand King Salmon – Marinated Gravalax













The New Zealand King Salmon has also won several awards, but rather wax lyrical about how great this King Salmon is, why not hear it from the horses mouth?

Click on the video below to find out more.

P.S. We are also excited to announce that Debbie’s Seafood has been selected to be the EXCLUSIVE distributor of this award-winning sustainable salmon in the Mackay region.


King Salmon, Malborough Sounds, New Zealand

Posted in Shop Local | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Barra Boat

This is a simple and great tasting recipe, for an equally great tasting fish, especially for the barbeque plate.

Serve with some Asian greens or jasmine rice on the side.


250g fish fillet per person                            Parsley

1 tsp olive oil                                              Orange Juice

red onion                                                    Salt

red capsicum                                               Lemon Pepper

¼ orange, peeled


1.Fold a double layer of aluminium foil to make a ‘boat’ (1 boat per person).

2.Place the boat on the BBQ plate, medium heat.

3.Spread the oil over the boat base, lay the fillet on top.

4.Lay the onion, sliced capsicum, chopped orange on top of the fillet.

5.Add salt and lemon pepper, then add orange juice until the fish is half-covered.

6.Cover boat with layer of foil and lightly crump the edges to seal.

7.Check the fish on the QQB from time to time, adding more juice if needed until the fish is cook.

8.Serve this dish with boiled jasmine rice on the side to soak up the lovely excess juices.


3. Barra Boat



Posted in Fish Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beer Batter

Batter is easier to make than you think, but rather than make the traditional batter which could have you waiting for an hour before you can use it, try this beer batter recipe instead.  Use any fresh fish to coat this beer batter with and fry carefully.


2 cups of plain flour, sifted

Pinch of salt

2 eggs, separated

¾ cup of beer


1.In a bowl, mix flour and salt. Whisk egg yolks and beer, then stir until smooth.

2.In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.

3.Fold through the batter.

4.Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

5. Don’t forget to enjoy the rest of the beer, responsibly 🙂

2. Beer Batter










We have plenty of mixed reef fillets available in store and on our trucks

for $28.99/kg. Perfect for frying fish.

Posted in Fish Recipes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment