Customers love buying live lobsters direct from local fishers
By Jane Grljusich
Customers at Back of Boat lobster sales in Fremantle say they wouldn’t buy their crays anywhere else these days except direct from local fishermen.
“I like to support local producers and I know it’s fresh,” said John Sofi eld of Applecross as he fi lled his esky with 10 of the largest crustaceans.
He didn’t need any cooking advice from his new “expert” contacts in Fremantle fishing family the Petruzzos.
“They’re going straight on the barbie when I get home,” he told the Herald.
“This is our seafood and we should be able to buy it locally,“ a customer tells me.
“Every time I go looking in the shops I can’t get any – here you know what you’re getting, how it was caught, when it was caught, and where it was caught.”
And that’s important.
It’s a public holiday and people line
the dock behind Cicerello’s chatting with members of the Petruzzo family on board Capo D’Orlando, named by family stalwart Vincenzo aft er his hometown in Sicily.
Questions are aplenty – about their most recent sea journeys, the boat, equipment, weather, how many lobsters and what sizes they have on board, and of course, how to manage them and cook them at home.
A Japanese family planning to make fresh lobster sashimi that morning, gets a fright and eventually a fi t of the giggles, as they come face-to-face with their favourite food, and for the fi rst time seen it alive and kicking.
Freo and Mosman Park girls Kate and Andrea have come along with their beloved dog Tommy and enjoy the spectacle.
“We like them fresh and we don’t have to catch them ourselves anymore, we can see where they are coming from, and we know they are from WA waters,” they told us.
Chris Petruzzo (29) is running the show, taking the orders, with parents Carmeline and Tony, and brother Matt (26) on board. Troy (25) is also a deckhand on the family boat.
Chris is now proud to represent his family, and others, on the WA Rock Lobster Fishers Federation.
Matt proudly shows people a recent photograph of him hand-feeding a friendly dolphin on one of his fi shing trips at Two Rocks.
The boys all have trades but have been drawn to life on the sea in awe of their dad Tony and his father Vincenzo.
“It’s not easy, but it’s the best job in the world,” Tony says.
A Western Australian icon, our lobsters are, and always have been, highly sought-aft er overseas and locally.
“We love meeting our customers,” Chris says.
“We’re helping them, they’re helping us, it’s a win-win situation.”
Back of Boat sales have reinvigorated an important element of Fremantle’s cultural and community landscape.
No longer is it the statues of fishermen past, or the hulking prawn trawlers moored at Fishing Boat Harbour, that are the most visible signs of the iconic industry that has shaped our port city.
The Harbour is more alive than ever – just like our local lobsters.
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