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Monday, 21 September 2020

SPEARFISHING NEWS 1951-1953
















 

BRIAN DAVIES - SEAL ROCKS - HOW GN GOT PROTECTION (under construction)






 Joss Davies (RIP) a leading fisherman of Seal Rocks.

 



Brian was a fisherman, surfer, wobby hunter at Seal Rocks NSW. We borrowed this vintage postcard from the local shop archives.   It was the first Seal Rocks postcard and published by Mrs. Horgan - the lady who ran the post office, shop and petrol bowser for decades. Brian's father Joss  was the leading pro fisherman. Much could be said here about the attitude of the fishermen toward visiting divers it was not friendly as the belief in the 1960s was free divers frightened fish away.. The ice was broken by Miss Jocelyn in the 1980s who hitched up with Brian for a couple of years when they met while she was doing traveling 16mm film shows in the region with Trina Fleischmann for company.  

Brian was not making enough money out of seasonal lobster fishing and occasional beach net catches so he took off to Japan a couple of times to work in hazardous jobs with imported foreign labor. This ended up destroying his liver helped with heaps of bottled beer. 

Brian might be remembered today by environmentalists for his hunting of wobbegong sharks with set lines and the inadvertent hooking-up with Grey Nurse sharks (protected) at big Seal Rock.  The timing was not good in 1988.  A hundred or more Grey Nurse returned to both Big Sea and Little Seal Rock and began a new industry for scuba tourism and underwater shark photography.

Grey Nurse sharks having broken free with fish hooks hanging from jaws, some from Brian's wobbegong shark set lines were being photographed by experts.  Pictures were published.  The call was made for Grey Nurse sharks to be protected as they were on the brink of extinction, even although the numbers had never been higher in more than a decade.  Junk science swallowed by well intending people.  BUT something had to be done in the face of evidence depicting cruelty.

Brian probably never knew how his set line shark fishing had brought about regulations. Wobbegong sharks were given protection along with Grey Nurse and White Pointer sharks.

 Local fishermen sold their properties for very good prices and moved away.  Seal Rocks changed or caught up with the surrounding coastal villages.  Joss' house on a headland was rented by a movie production company for a feature film and became a famous landmark.



            First published postcard at Seal Rocks and Brian Davies (RIP)


 

                                         

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Ben Cropp Expeditions (Facebook)











73 private members (3 July 2021)


 


Filming SS Yongala wreck.











Painted cray or tropical lobster.



Hope Island scene GBR