In 1986, a local commercial fisherman, David Caracciolo, made a life-changing decision. He began selling his catches directly to the markets. In turn, Mackay Reef Fish Supplies commenced business. It began operations from a private wharf in River Street and premises in Victoria Street, Mackay.
In 1990, David’s other brothers, Graham and Brian joined the business and from there the family business was formed. Together the boys assisted David in the growth and expansion of the business.
In 1993, the business was able to acquire the Searaker complex in River Street. Business targeted primarily the local Queensland seafood market. Mackay Reef Fish Supplies grew its stronghold on the marketplace and began a dominance in the local and export markets supplying Queensland seafood.
In 1996, the Searaker complex was partially demolished to allow for bigger premises and expansion of the business. New facilities included freezer/chiller storage, dry storage, retail sales and an administration area for the local and export markets. The premises also included direct access to wharf facilities for the supply of materials and maintenance of local fishing boat operators.
Mackay Reef Fish Supplies also operate an on-site retail shop, Mackay Fish Market, to cater to the local community. The business is opened 7 days and employs all local people.
The Road to Darwin
In 1998, the business ventured to Darwin. This NT operation commenced as a small concern packing 50-60 tonnes fish per year on the wharves in Darwin and air freighting to southern states. NT Fish Pty Ltd was registered on the 9th December, 1999. A manager was hired and the business began to operate from rented premises at Darwin Cold Stores.
In July 2003, NT Fish Pty Ltd was relocated to the premises purchased at 23 Raphael Road, Winnellie, where the business continues to operate and expand, now unloading fresh and frozen seafood products per year.
NT Fish operates a 7 day a week service for the wild catch fishermen in Darwin. This is to enable the product to be unloaded, packed, and shipped in the shortest amount of time to provide the customer with the freshest Northern Territory seafood.
NT Fish was the first business in the Northern Territory to have EU accreditation to export overseas and is also accredited with AQIS and HACCP certification which guarantees unqualified hygienic processing, handling and packing procedures.
Business activities concentrate on export trade to countries such as South East Asia, Europe and the US. Within Australia, distribution areas cover Darwin down through the entire east coast and across to Adelaide and Perth.
With such stringent export regulations overseas, years of research and protocols have been put in place to ensure only the best quality is produced and exported on the premises.
It is extremely difficult to trade in the overseas market as presentation and levels of acceptance and grading vary from country to country, thus it is imperative that this side of the business implements up to date procedures regularly.
Mackay Reef Fish Supplies and NT Fish both operate under AQIS Approved Arrangement Export Program.
The scope of the business has changed over the years. Primarily, the business concentrated on servicing the seafood market, however with such rapid growth in clients, not only did we service local seafood and international markets, the business direction changed to that of a FOOD SERVICE supplier.
This continued through until January 2015, Mackay Reef Fish Supplies had a fleet of refrigerated delivery trucks which operated 5 days a week, a team of Sales Representatives, overseen by a Sales Manager, a Distribution Manager and team, a Telesales team and Administration staff. The business has grown to employ over 35 local Mackay people and services over 800 customers with an ever-growing client base. When the foodservice division of the company was sold and Graham and Brian retired. This allowed for a renewed sole focus on service to the seafood industry and related markets by David and his dedicated staff.
With many years of qualified and professional experience behind him, David has become one of Australia’s larger suppliers of fresh and frozen fish, prawns, shellfish and crustaceans.