Aquaculture --> Royal Agricultural Society of NSW ADFEA8E89F1C278F2558834977B546B4 Skip to main content


Aquaculture is the practice of controlled farming and harvesting of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants. The RAS officially established the Sydney Royal Aquaculture competition in 2001, but the judging of seafood goes back as far as 1870 when the Bendigo Agricultural & Horticultural Society entered specimens of bream and cod into the Agricultural Society of NSW Show.

Independent judging panels are comprised of expert industry specialists, technologists, manufacturers, product users, retailers and chefs.

Aquaculture competitions are held twice a year to accommodate the seasonality of these products. Judging of the prawn and Sydney rock oyster classes is held during the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Other aquaculture classes including pacific oysters, smoked and fresh fish, abalone and mussels are judged each Spring during the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show.

Please check Key Dates to determine which Aquaculture competition to enter.

10 January 2024

Entries Open

14 February 2024

Entries Close

22 - 25 March 2024

Exhibits Delivered

26 March 2024


Late March 2024

Results and Champions Announced

Early May 2024

Entries Open

Mid June 2024

Entries Close

August 2024

Exhibits to be delivered

12 - 29 August 2024


Early September 2024


21 September 2024

Champions Announced

Sydney Royal Competitions encourage and reward excellence, with the aim to support a viable and prosperous future for our agricultural communities.

The Sydney Royal Fine Food Show engages experienced and respected industry professionals as Judges and firmly endorses the development of future Judges with a strong succession plan through Associate Judges.

Judging panels are constituted from a combination of the following:

  • Manufacturers and technologists from industry

  • Product users

  • Product retailers

  • Chefs

  • Other specialist and industry judges


Associate Judging

The Fine Food Committee has embarked on a path of growing the pool of Judges available and have adopted a rotation policy to refresh the judging panels and give them a different dynamic and capture potential new Judges coming through the industry and therefore endorses the development of future Judges by offering Associate Judging positions.

The integrity of Sydney Royal competitions rest in the hands of accomplished, knowledgeable and, most importantly, independent judges.

The process is overseen by a Chair of Judges and includes separate judging panels. Each panel consists of one Panel Chair, two Judges and two Associate Judges.

Medals are determined by the Judges using the following point scale:

  • Gold medal for outstanding Exhibits gaining 90.00pts and over;
  • Silver medal for excellent Exhibits gaining 82.00pts but less than 90.00pts;
  • Bronze medal for quality Exhibits gaining 74.00pts but less than 82.00pts.

Championships are determined using the Borda Count Method. 

Stewards play a valuable part in the judging of each Competition and ensure the day runs smoothly through the coordination and preparation of Exhibits for Judges. Stewarding is a fantastic way of learning more about the industry, competitions and the judging process, with opportunities to develop into Associate Judge and Judge roles in the future.

Opportunity to be involved in high profile and prestigious Sydney Royal Competitions, renowned all across Australia.

  • Engage with industry members, build relationships and networking opportunities.
  • Keep abreast with the industry, changes in trends and identify up and coming producers.
  • Enjoy a hands-on experience and develop an understanding of the judging process. We encourage Judges and Stewards to work together and where the opportunity arises, we ask Judges to expose Stewards to sample Exhibits so to learn what attributes and defects the Judges are looking for in their assessment of product.

Judges, Stewards and the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) Councillors alike are all voluntary positions. The RAS appreciates the expertise and contribution of all Officials and Councillors.

If you have any questions, please send your enquiry via email to

Chair of Judges

John Susman, Director, Fishtales

International Judge

Martin Bosley, Owner and Director, Yellow Brick Road, New Zealand 


Colin Barker, Executive Chef, Lot 101 Megalong Valley

Sue Bastian, Associate Professor, University of Adelaide

P-J Charteris, Winemaker / Owner, Charteris Wine Consulting

Corey Costelloe, Previously Culinary Director soon to be restaurant owner

Jules Crocker, National Sales Manager, Poulos Bros Seafoods

Ian Lyall, Program Leader Aquaculture, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Bosley McGee, Head Butcher, Fish Butchery

Steve McOrrie, Retired, Previously Aquaculture Manager Oysters, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Andy Myers, Oyster Projects Manager, NSW Farmers Association

Wayne O'Connor, Senior Principal Research Scientist, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Anthony Zammit, NSW Shellfish Program Manager, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Associate Judges

Sam Christie, Director, The Apollo Group

Stu Gregor, Founder & Director, Liquid Ideas

Jules Lobb, Commercial Manager, Clamms Seafood

Sydney Royal stewarding and judging expressions of interest


Please select the Sydney Royal Competition/s you are interested in*


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