HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

3 February 2014

Tuna Boats.

642-Tuna-boats-at-Huskisson-Wharf-rsCommercial Fishing in Jervis Bay.
This picture shows the tuna boat fleet using Huskisson as a temporary base while the tuna season was on…the boats would follow the tuna along the coast and call into the nearest port to unload the fresh tuna onto trucks to be shipped to market.

Commercial Scallop dredging.

In the 80’s the price for scallops skyrocketed and Jervis Bay was known to have scallops.
Trawlers from Wollongong, Ulladulla, Greenwell Point combined with local trawlers and some from further afield converged on the bay to try and cash in on the scallop price rise. There was even smaller non commercial boats dragging smaller dredges across the bay trying to cash in, at one stage there was around 25 trawlers and boats working the bay.
Dredging had a devastating impact on the bays marine ecology for many years.
jervis-bay-protection-committee How do I know, because I was one of the recreational divers that joined the newly established Jervis Bay Protection Committee. A conservation movement, initially made up of local divers who could see first hand the devastating damage the multiple dredges were doing to the bay, the committees soul aim at that time was to stop the dredging, and make the public aware of the impact the dredging was having on the bay.
It took quite a few years of dedicated work, audio visual displays, photographic exhibitions, lectures and protests,to get the public to see the future ramifications of continuing the dredging uncontrolled, would bring to this unique environment.
Eventually, the public was made aware of the damage and an outcry from far and wide could not be silenced.
The sensible decision to stop all dredging in 1991 was finally made, partly because of the damage but also because this small fishery had suffered so much overfishing stocks were un-commercial.
Unfortunately most of the damage had already been done, and even to this day some of the scallop beds haven’t recovered fully.

The fight goes on.
The Jervis Bay Protection Committee’s focus shifted to other issues concerning the bay

  • To establish a marine park in Jervis Bay
  • To oppose the development of large scale heavy industry

The museum has a fantastic display on developments that could have impacted the bay in a negative way, but have been stopped by the public and other fortuitous events, leaving the bay in the state it is today, to be enjoyed by everyone.
It’s worth taking the time to read and view the images and to see just how lucky the bay has been…

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