In what will be the ultimate fishing tall tale, the person who catches a tagged kingfish in Sydney Harbour will win a whopping $1 million.
In what will be the ultimate fishing tall tale, the person who catches a tagged kingfish in Sydney Harbour will win a whopping $1 million.

$1 million on the line in Sydney Harbour fish hunt

Fishos, get ready for a one in a million opportunity.

Organisers of a new Sydney Harbour festival plan to release a tagged kingfish into the water that will pay the person who catches it a whopping $1 million.

The million dollar fish competition will be just one part of a Harbour of Life festival aimed at rebooting the Western Harbour from Barangaroo to the west of Pyrmont.

"These kind of events can really kick start Sydney's recovery from the COVID pandemic," Western Harbour Alliance chairman Geoff Parmenter said.

Chefs Federico Zanellato (left) and Chase Kojima (right). They want to be part of a festival celebrating Sydney Harbour that will focus on fish. Picture: Toby Zerna
Chefs Federico Zanellato (left) and Chase Kojima (right). They want to be part of a festival celebrating Sydney Harbour that will focus on fish. Picture: Toby Zerna

It is hoped the festival would rival Vivid, which attracts three million visitors and generates $172 million a year, or Sculpture by the Sea which attracts 450,000 visitors and pumps $40 million into the economy.

"A new event is a very effective way to promote a place, and to bring stakeholders together. That is why the Western Harbour Alliance has designed this new festival concept, as a potential centrepiece of the whole Precinct activation program," Mr Parmenter said.

A PwC report found the Western Harbour had the potential to generate $7 billion for the NSW economy and create 30,000 new jobs over the next five years.

The Harbour of Life festival would kick start that with a Sculptures "in'' the Sea exhibition, a celebration of seafood and the $1 million fish hunt.

Ben Buckland and Nicola Muddle hold a Kingfish like the one that will be tagged and released in Sydney Harbour as part of the million dollar fish promotion. Picture: Toby Zerna
Ben Buckland and Nicola Muddle hold a Kingfish like the one that will be tagged and released in Sydney Harbour as part of the million dollar fish promotion. Picture: Toby Zerna

"The $1 million kingfish is going to cause a lot of excitement among the millions of anglers across NSW and Australia," Bob Baldwin, chairman of the The Australian Fishing Trade Association, said.

"I can't think of a better place in the world to wet a line and maybe catch a fortune right in the heart of our magnificent city."

Enthusiastic angler Ben Buckland, 20, from Bondi said: "It's such a great idea. People are going to lose their minds! I've got a couple of favourite fishing spots round here, so I'll definitely be getting up early!''

Catching the $1 million fish will be down to luck. It cannot be fitted with a tracker like the ones used on sharks because they only give a reading when the fish surfaces and kingfish stay underwater.

 

 

A Sculptures In The Sea exhibition like this one in Hong Kong is also planned.
A Sculptures In The Sea exhibition like this one in Hong Kong is also planned.

International Convention Centre chief executive Geoff Donaghy said: "The Harbour Festival could be a great addition to the annual program in Sydney. Whether it is a fishing expo and major ocean and sustainability conferences at the ICC … this is a Festival that can work very hard for Sydney."

Sydney Fish Market chief executive Greg Dyer said the markets' new location at Blackwattle Bay would become an "iconic symbol" and "a spectacular stage that celebrates" Sydney Harbour and its seafood.

Chase Kojima, Head Chef at Sokyo at The Star, said: "It's been a tough year for tourism and restaurants and a new festival that celebrates our harbour and seafood, two things that Sydney is famous for, is just what we need to get our city firing again."

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said of the fish hunt: "We are certainly open to looking at options that boost the Western Harbour Precinct. For too long it's been a neglected jewel."

 

Originally published as $1 million on the line in Sydney Harbour fish hunt


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