There's a kind of unison about the place; a battalion of fishos passing each other with precision moves. One of the staff at the Newcastle Commerical Fishermen's Co-op is cleaning a fish at a table near the coolers. He's knocking scales off fast and clinical as if he has done this a thousand times before. They hardly hit the floor before another monger in boots them away. Everything is immaculately clean.
Numbers careen across the scales as servers weigh a kilo here, a kilo there. Most folks are looking for prawns, but a few are buying fillets of salmon or flathead.
A number is called. In the back, a bloke throws up his ticket and makes his way to the front. A couple of staff members are wrapping parcels in butchers paper, one after the other.
Another tub of fresh, bright pink prawns cascades into the ice and the whole dance starts again.
Before 7am, there was a line of customers at the door. By 7.30am, there's barely a few minutes of waiting.
"It was very quick. I literally came in about 10 minutes ago," Rebecca Fracarro of Wallsend said as she left with her order.
"It's going to be prawns on rolls, sauce and salad. That's a complicated as it gets."
Mark Lomax of Cessnock has been coming to the Fishermen's Co-op on Hannell Street for 20 years. He is spending Easter with family flying in from Western Australia and had a feast of fresh seafood in hand on Friday morning.
"Flathead, Bream, a couple of kilos of prawns. A bit of everything," he said.
Roommates from Hamilton North, Craig Hallam and Jacqueline Carroso were planning to spend Good Friday with Mr Hallam's family near Lake Munmorah.
"We're after some fillets, I'm thinking of maybe some flathead," Mr Hallam says. "We have prawns all the time, so we're going for a barbecue today, throw them on the barbie and cook them up easy."
"All the seafood here is good," Ms Carroso adds, as a steady stream of customers make their way out with bundles of produce. "I get stuff for the paella."
The Co-op was expecting to sell between up to four tonnes of prawns over the weekend, around 18,000 oysters and almost a tonne of snapper. By 7.45am, one staff member said his till had registered around 100 customers.
About half of the seafood hauled from the boats moored at the Newcastle wharf is sold in Newcastle. The other half is sent to Sydney Fish Market, where Newcastle's co-op is the single largest supplier.
NSW Department of Primary Industries estimated 650 tonnes of seafood would be sold at Sydney on Good Friday alone, as the industry generates more than $500 million in economic activity each year.