Busy shops as people fish for the perfect Good Friday feast
By MARY MANN email@example.com JOHN KUHN doesn't need an excuse to eat fish, but Good Friday will give him the chance to eat more of it.
The East Ballina resident, a frequent shopper at the Ballina Fishermen's Co-Op, is one of many Northern Rivers locals who yesterday visited the co-op in preparation of a traditional feed of fish this Easter weekend.
The boost in trade is being welcomed by the co-op and local fishers, who were left in the lurch after January's fish kill led to a ban of fishing from the Richmond River.
"Morwong is my favourite," Mr Kuhn said as he eyed off a big one in the display cabinet yesterday.
"My recipe is called Feb. Fish, egg and breadcrumbs, then you fry it. "Absolutely beautiful."
Store manager Rod Colbeck said the lead-up to Easter was always busy, but that he expected today to be his biggest day.
"It's been flat-out this morning," he said. "The shop's just been full of customers.
"Fish is becoming more popular as people realise how good it is for them. It's not only about the religious reasons for eating fish on Good Friday anymore - people really love it."
After the fish kill, the Richmond River was closed for about six weeks, so the co-op got its fish only from the Tweed and Clarence rivers.
But Mr Colbeck said now that the river was open again, there were 'more fish than ever'.
"It's good to have the local guys back out on the Richmond," he said.
"We've got heaps of fresh flathead, mackerel and snapper fillets, as well as mudcrabs.
"My favourite is a flathead on the barbecue, cooked with its skin on and served with chips and salad."
The last of the fishing closures as a result of the January fish kill was lifted last week. River monitoring is continuing.