The discovery that abalone offered big money lured heaps of city free divers to the southern cooler waters especially from 1964. The Alliman Shield competition suffered with fewer competitors. Ron Taylor quit competitions soon after in 1967.
Top picture: John Harding (self) with an original Ben Cropp speargun and the owner himself.
Bob Grounds dived professional for abalone in three states, including winter in Tasmania. Then quit for a better lifestyle.
Vic Ley moved to Mallacoota Victoria and dived professionally for abalone with partner Ron McEwen and endured crippling outboard motor repairs that broke their budget. When they recovered financially back in the city it was too late. The license system was modified and closed to 'new' arrivals, a system endorsed by existing license holders and the fisheries department. Such is life.
Shark Fin Soup Explained
Shark product sold as Crab Sticks, Fish Balls, Seafood Extender/
Keelung Port by Night