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The Managing Director of the Sydney Fish Market, Grahame Turk, is set to retire on November 16 from the position he has held since November 2000.

Mr Turk has played a pivotal role in pushing for the redevelopment of the Fish Market, which has yet to transpire. In 2011, shareholders rejected redevelopment plans totalling $40 million. He has also represented the market on a number of industry councils.

Convenor of the Blackwattle Cove Coalition John Brooks, said Mr Turk’s plan to redevelop the site “was a very good thing.”

“I think the purpose of the Fish Market is to deliver healthy seafood to the city of Sydney, so a lot of the other stuff is peripheral,” he said. “That’s been bore in mind the whole time. The basics of a fish market that wholesales food to Sydney and beyond … has always been the foremost thing.”

Robert Gavagna, a member of the Blackwattle Cove Coalition, said he personally supports the Fishbank redevelopment plan proposed in early 2010, which did not come into effect due to other development proposals at the time.

“I am a supporter of the Fishbank plan to succeed and meet the aspirations of all stakeholders as in the Fish Market itself, and all its shareholders and independents, the community and the state,” he said.

There are a number of planed future improvements to the Fish Market site in Pyrmont.

“They are going to do, as I understand, a number of cosmetic improvements to the car park … the public retail areas,” Mr Brooks said. “I am one of the people who doesn’t have a problem with the Fish Market looking like a market … It is a wholesale market that has retail aspects … It’s a tourist destination and it can be seen as that, and Grahame has recognised that. The [State] Government has recognised that.”

Mr Turk plans to remain involved in the capacity as Chairman of the Fish Market board. Mr Brooks said Mr Turk “has done extremely well, is keeping harmony and direction among all the parties.”

Fish Market Administration Manager, Bryan Skepper, paid tribute to Mr Turk. “In many respects Grahame has been the driving force behind Sydney Fish Market being what it is today, namely an iconic seafood destination for tourists and locals alike,” Mr Skepper said.

“Grahame has certainly left me with some large shoes to fill.”

By Chloe-Lee Longhetti