Fourth generation fisher, Graeme Byrnes says some of his fondest childhood memories are of his mum, Betty battering and cooking fresh batches of fish.
Mainly blackfish or mullet, Betty would pile the catch onto a large oven tray and place it onto the table for her hungry family, before it would be 'vacuumed' up in a matter of minutes.
"We ate a lot of fish and prawns," Graeme said.
"But, sometimes I couldn't eat the fish because of the taste and I would give it to my dad," he said.
It took Graeme, and his partner brother, Phillip - who own and operate Great Lakes Fisheries, Forster - 30 years to work out what caused the 'unsavoury' taste
"It was about how the fish were caught," Graeme said.
"And, the critical importance of the process of ice slurring the fish at the point of capture."
As soon as the catch is hauled in fish are immediately tossed into an a contained of ice and sea water - an ice slurry.
According to Graeme the process preserves the sweetness of the fish.
"It preserves the glucose in the fish.
"The alternative is a lactic acid build-up and that is what happened to those strong tasting fish I tried to eat as a kid."
Since the 'discovery' three decades ago, Great Lakes Fisheries has used the procedure ever since, retaining its reputation for the delivery of extraordinary quality seafood to the Sydney Fish Markets and consistent excellence in seafood awards.
"Great Lakes Fisheries' recognition through industry excellence awards only comes about due to the dedication and professionalism of our fishermen supplier team in producing seafood second to none."
And, the critical importance of the process of ice slurring the fish at the point of capture.- Great Lakes Fisheries co-owner, Graeme Byrnes
The establishment of Great Lakes Fisheries began back in 2016 after the Byrnes family relocated to Wallis Lake from Lake Illawarra in the early 2000s following a shake-up in the commercial fishing industry by the by then Fisheries Minister, Eddie Obeid.
The family had been fishing on the South Coast for close to a century.
The changes resulted in closure of waterways to professional fishers in favour of recreational fishers resulting in an annual loss of more than $1million kilograms of NSW fresh seafood production.
"We as a family had to make a collective decision, do we do something completely different or keep going in the family business," Graeme said.
At the time both Graeme and Phillip had young families to consider.
The family business (which also included dad Alan) had more than 100 years of accumulated fishing gear including nets and boats.
"Just those two things filled three large sheds.
"It was an awful choice we had to make."
After inspecting both the Clarence River and Wallis Lake the family decided on the latter primarily because of its similar characteristics to Lake Illawarra.
"Wallis Lake is one of the most pristine waterways we have encountered."
But, just upping sticks and moving north and fishing the lakes wasn't that simple.
"We had to buy out a couple of local fishing endorsements to be able to fish in the area to be able to do what we had to do make a living."
As the industry evolved around the 'forced' changes so too did fishers in wanting more marketing control over their catches.
"Local fishers were looking for better way of marketing their product and getting full value for producing superior seafood.
"With that personal control marketing mechanism in place, backed up by free ice for all suppliers, this is Great Lakes Fisheries core business."
Also by adopting the KISS philosophy, costs are kept to a minimum by encouraging the 'co-op's' 20 members - who come from Taree to Pacific Palms - to produce the best possible product and has resulted in a win-win success story.
"When we launched Great Lakes Fisheries five years ago we were the first new fishermen's 'co-op type' business in NSW for decades and now, according to the Sydney Fish market, we are recording average growth."
With a long family history of fishing and seafaring going back to the Endeavour and the First Fleet, it was only a natural progression that Graeme's 19-year-old son James obtained his first commercial fishing license, making him the fifth generation of professional fishers in the Byrnes family.
The Byrne family's 100 year association with the fishing industry along the South Coast began more than a century ago when George Byrnes took delivery of his first commercial fishing vessel 'Torment' LFB 7310 (photo).
Nearly 50 years later his son Alf, a life long professional fisherman, was instrumental in the establishment of one of the largest fisherman's co-ops in NSW.
From 1943 to 2006 Alan Byrnes, Alf's son, commercially fished the waters of NSW with great distinction becoming a co-operative director and an activist for marine environmental protection.
Almost 20 years ago Alan's sons Graeme and Phil arrived in the Forster area continuing their family's professional fishing journey.
In some respects history is repeating itself through the establishment of Great Lakes Fisheries.
Graeme and Phil, like their grandfather Alf before them, began Great Lakes Fisheries to serve the needs of local fishermen in getting their produce to market.
The Byrnes family association with seafaring is uniquely long standing.
While fishing in NSW goes back now five generations, the family links to the sea predate 1770.
This all began with Peter Hibbs.
Peter Hibbs is recorded as being on the First Fleet on board the 'Sirius' in 1788.
Anecdotally, he his also believed to have been on Cook's HMB Endeavour in 1770 as an 11-year-old cabin boy (http://www.visitsydneyaustralia.com.au/peter-hibbs.html).
Hibbs claimed all his life to be the second European to set foot on Australian soil when sent ashore by James Cook in Botany Bay in search of water.
The first European to set foot on Australian soil was Joseph Banks (https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6723502/the-eventful-life-of-colonial-trailblazer-peter-hibbs/).
Peter Hibbs met his wife Mary Pardoe on Norfolk Island.
Eventually they had a daughter named Sarah.
Sarah married Francis Byrne(s) an Irish convict who arrived in Australia in 1814 on board the 'Guilford'.
After serving out his sentence and receiving a land grant, Francis and Sarah settled at the Hawkesbury River as farmers and orchardists trading their produce by boat between their home and Sydney. In time, they had a son called James.
James Byrne(s) 1826-1894 a Hawkesbury farmer, married Eliza Parry in 1856.
They had 12 children one being Augustine George Byrnes (known as George) in 1872. George can be seen in the Byrnes family photo of 1917 with their new fishing boat LFB 7310.
From the First Fleet to Forster the Byrnes family's links with the sea run deep.
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