Abalone Pioneers is the Australian story of the divers, deckhands, researchers and processors who established and developed the zone’s abalone industry, from the amateur fishermen of the 1950s and the hazy crazy tribe of ‘scruffy longhairs’, who were attracted by the hedonistic lifestyle and fantastic profits in the 1960s, to the professional enterprise of today. It charts the development of the Victorian Western Abalone Divers Association and its role managing and protecting the Victorian Western Zone’s resources, and explores the successful diver-led commercial processors.
Illustrated with over 100 historical photographs and featuring over 50 interviews, Abalone Pioneers is an exuberant and fascinating account of the establishment of one of Australia’s valuable but little-known fisheries.
Abalone is one of Australia’s more valuable commercial fisheries, producing about 40 per cent of the world’s wild-stock harvest, and a significant part of that is found off the coast of southwest Victoria, in what is known as the Western Zone.
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