AW SHUCKS: Christmas miracle needed to save seafood industry
A North Coast seafood business has put out a heartfelt plea to locals, after their move to ensure the Aussie seafood industry's survival was set back by border mayhem.
Get Hooked Fresh Seafoods is trying to recoup losses after a terrible year and has found itself with an expensive oversupply of seafood.
Backing the Australian seafood industry's drive to support fishermen after China's embargo, the popular shopfront at Tweed Heads rose to the call and ordered in their usual Christmas supply - and then some.
However, the traffic nightmare throughout the local streets from Queensland's reinstated hard border closure on Tuesday has meant a significant decrease in consumer demand.
Sam Beau Patrick said about 40 per cent of the business's customer base are from the Southern Gold Coast and Brisbane and most are not willing to brave the hours of border traffic congestion to pick up their usual Christmas seafood.
Ms Beau Patrick, who's partner owns Get Hooked, said she stocked up on oysters and lobsters on the back of a Christmas campaign by the Aussie seafood industry.
"There was a media drive to get people to eat seafood this Christmas. That's after China refused to buy Australian lobsters," she said.
"There was the risk fishermen would go out of business and jobs would be lost.
"We've got 500 dozen Coffin Bay oysters, 200 lobsters - we need to move it on to the customer but the border closed."
It's the latest blow in what has been a tough year for the 25-year-old business surviving COVID-19 with Christmas sales hoped to put a dint in the 12-month losses.
"We were so excited the last 20 days of the border being open - it was a breath of fresh air," Ms Beau Patrick said.
"Even with the floods (last week) everyone was just so happy to be out and about and have some normality again, wanting to spend money locally, it was really uplifting because we were doing tough during COVID but we have stayed open to support the staff.
"We were trying things to generate interest like live cooking shows on Facebook for healthy Christmas options.
"And now its like gosh what do we do? … We don't want to waste the stock and we have three to four days to sell it. Financially it hurts as well, not just us but the fisherman."
Ms Beau Patrick encouraged people from Queensland put off by the traffic queue to legally park in Coolangatta and walk across the border to the shop just metres from the state line.
"The Seafood industry has been pretty clear about it, if people don't eat seafood this year our industry is gone," she said.
Get Hooked's appeal for residents to come and buy a little extra seafood to add to their Christmas platters last night reached hundreds of thousands being featured in Newscorp newspapers, Channel 9, Channel 10 and The Project.