Archive for category Seafood
The octopus have not killed anyone lately – which is a wonder. It was almost an annual event years ago. A common resident of Sydney Harbour these tiny octopus will kill a man with their bite. The ‘victim’ dies quickly. It is obviously very unwise to handle a live Blue Ring octopus.
The rings glow bright blue on the legs as a series of tiny disc-shaped circles rather than rings around the entire leg.
A science-themed story is contained in our FATHOM magazine No.3
Here’s a mixture of pictures selected by PIX (a weekly picture-news magazine in Australia) editors. Once selected I’d be asked to tell a staff reporter like Syd King, Ben Mitchell or later, Jim Oram what it was all about. The magazine paid sufficiently. They were a good crew. Editor Bob Nelson especially. Meanwhile I was shooting 16mm film footage for my future project, a documentary that would enable travel as well as an income. It was a good plan but eventually there was home video which made cinema films expensive for families. (click to enlarge pages).
FATHOM magazine was compiled by divers. For the first time in Australia, dramatic pictures and stories kept accurate by the people who wrote and published the material. All original pages now online for students of the sea. A benchmark to help understand the slow but steady changes occurring in the marine world. From shark hunting of 1963 to the beautiful underwater photo images of today.
There was an era when underwater photography was rare, unusual and novel. I purchased a Calypso-phot camera in 1963 and on a memorable safari north with friends, asked Ron Taylor to take a single picture of me with a crayfish. This was North West Island in July 1963. When the film was processed I saw for the first time what I looked like as a diver, underwater. No big deal today but back then it was a real thrill. Like looking in a mirror for the first time, perhaps.
The Late John LeBrun pictured
John LeBrun (a professional camera equipment salesman and diver) taught us a couple of points about photography he had learned from his service in the air force.
“When you focus on an object, the area that is actually in focus (also called depth of field) is 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind the point that you’ve focused on”.
You can use this knowledge to some advantage at times.
Generally we were all self-taught photographers. The most difficult part in the learning days was getting a good exposure, especially underwater. Most divers tended to over-expose pictures.
Today the camera’s are automatic in this respect but sometimes adjustments make a nice difference. Sunsets are better if the exposure is make darker, for example.
Vic Ley was filmed by me spearing this Black Cod in 1969 at Fish Rock, South West Rocks – now a sanctuary. The sequence appeared in my first film Aquarius – People and Wildlife of the Sea but was dropped from later editions. Today it should be of interest to environmentalists. Vic Ley remembers how prolific marine life use to be at this now famous scuba location. New South Wales mid north coast.
Brian Davies was a professional fisherman, surfer and free diver who lived is a cabin at Seal Rocks, New South Wales. His father was a local pioneer professional fisherman – a true man of the sea as was Brian. Brian took a job in Japan which involved working with toxic chemicals. A few years later, back in Australia his liver packed up and Brian passed away – just a short time after his father.
The young fellow takes a Rock Blackfish ashore for his father, Geoff ‘Boots’ Towner, our long term friend.
Conditions for ‘rock hopping’ are not ideal, as the picture illustrates. A strong NE sea breeze has made the water choppy.
Early morning’s are a better bet for calm conditions although during bthe summer, the NE breeze starts early too.
Abalone collected from low-tide rock pools by local resident A J “Tony” Flook
Just beyond the rocks in the background is where a fatal shark attack occurred many years ago. The north entrance to Port Jackson (Sydney Harbor) is in the far left background.
ABALONE IN THE NEWS
The (Australian) Victorian Abalone Divers Association (VADA) wants the State Government to prevent poachers from spreading an abalone virus along the south west coast.
The Association’s Vincent Gannon says poachers have been close to areas where \\ganglioneuritis\\ (the abalone virus) has been found.
The State Government has banned the collection of abalone along a 13-kilometer stretch of coast near Cape Otway to help stop the virus spreading further east..
Almost the same in appearance to the New Zealand snapper – which is similar to the Australian version but not identical (to the best of my knowledge). Young snapper are Red Bream which then become Squire when a little bigger. The adult is what we call a Snapper (or Schnapper on some menu’s). In southern Australia it is the ‘A’ grade table fish.
The common name Snapper is used everywhere and for many species, mostly from the tropics.
Seafood sausages, yes. There is also seafood flavored ICE CREAM. Octopus sausages – the darker colored ones, would work well in Australia. Quite spicy too.
Cooked while you wait and presented on a stick for AUD$1.50 or less.
There are other seafood ingredients available.
The website is in Chinese (only) www.seascream.com.tw – is that sea scream or seas cream?
New aquaculture building in background of top picture. Close-up of the specie of seaweed being dried.
Left my camera somewhere on Friday night while buying a large watermelon. For the next few weeks pictures will be from a mobile phone camera with a tiny slow lens. A challenge and a change of pace.
Re watching video’s on You Tube and “buffering” as it loads.
1. If you have a slow connection, this should be of interest:
2. Pause the downloading movie **near the start** (after a second or two has played. Pause/Play are same button.
3. This pause will allow video to continue downloading (while you do something else for a couple of minutes).
4. Return and play the video without any buffering stops.
Sometimes you can play a game. Let the download reach the halfway point (or slightly beyond) then hit PLAY. The idea being for the movie to play right o the end as the final bits download.
Cooking process requires more than 48 hours. A large hen (not a rooster), plus bacon is boiled together with the soaking shark fin.
The result is the much hyped shark fin soup, and nowhere near as expensive as some people have claimed.
Hi this was last Sunday’s catch off the Van Bruggan’s Dream and the Rick Mill wrecks then went for a quick dive with Chad on Monday morning same wrecks and the Bottle Washer, 1 to 1½ m viso yuk! Saw some Jewies but they were too smart. Had a shot at a Jewfish under the aft of the V.B.D. and just as I squeezed the trigger it moved and cleaned missed it only to hit a golden snapper behind it! (I meant to do that……) HAVE THE BEST WEEKEND EVER Cheers Rick.
Picture courtesy RJ Taylor collection
The Tweed Heads to Brisbane area was a super-hot spear fishing zone, Australia 1961. While we were seeing Red Morwong and Blue Groper around Sydney, the real underwater champions senior to us in age and experience were seeing giant Black Cod and Queensland Groper in shallow water up north. Pictures published in Australian Skindivers Magazine whetted our desire for a trip north. With friend Vic Ley our dream came true in July 1963 when we quit our jobs and drove north with a boat, outboard and camping gear. We’d swap speared fish and lobsters for food and fuel. The adventure of a lifetime awaited us.
Me with a typical coral trout. Aboard Riversong, a second trip in 1964. Captain Wally Muller and South Australian Brian Rodger in background. We speared thousands of kilo’s of fish during a ten-day voyage in the Capricorn and Bunker Group.
Vic Ley and myself on our first voyage with Wally Muller, August 1963. We speared fish in exchange for a boat ride out to North West Island – where I developed ‘coral poisoning’ in my leg and came close to dying, sulpher tablets pulled me through, probably not with some harm to kidneys.
Ron Taylor and Vic Ley August 1963, Riversong - Wally Muller‘s fishing vessel became legendary in the sixties. We were later to venture to Saumarez Reef in The Coral Sea aboard this small boat in October 1964.
Photo taken with Calypso-phot 35mm underwater camera
The **Orange Perch** is a seasonal visitor to Coffs Harbour. Not many are caught and when they appear for sale, ‘don’t last very long’. The fish has tasty pink flesh. The fish pictured was for sale at $27 ungutted. **Red Mullet** \\(top left)\\ are also called **Goatfish**- probably best in a soup or seafood stew.
Snapper(\\top lower right\\) are found throughout the Pacific Ocean as an ‘A’ grade table fish.
** ‘Champagne lobster’** (\\below\\) are from deep water on the edge of the continental shelf. The present lower fuel prices are allowing local fishermen to venture the greater distance offshore to fish the shelf.
It was the first time I’d ever seen Orange perch and Champagne lobster. I wonder what they eat? The diet of the fish determines how well they taste to us.
Special Thanks to Ken DaVico (in Hawaii) for alerting us to this gem.
We’d just arrived at the small bunch of rocks off Point Lookout (North Stradbroke Island, Queensland) where the water is quite deep.
A visiting game fishing boat was hooked up with a small black marlin. The fish made a few jumps then the line broke.
**Trevor Collins** slipped over the side of our boat with a \\SeaRocket\\ gas gun and secured the fish. From memory it weighed 78 pounds and was purchased by a local restaurant.
The reconstructed spear fishing scene was included in my first documentary \\Aquarius – People and Wildlife of the Sea\\ (1970).
It was meritorious as one of the first, or the first black marlin speared in Australia – under unusual circumstances which kept it out of the record book.
The boat’s name **Mercury** is visible on an enlarged version. I asked **Peter Bristow** via email if he might know who owned the boat.
Peter is a former Point Lookout- based fisherman. From about 1970 he pioneered big game fishing in Australia at Cairns, North Queensland, and subsequently helped put that northern sleepy town on the international must-see tourist map of the world.
Here is Bristow’s reply from the island of Madeira where he now lives:
My God yes. The owner and driving the boat is Steve Murphy. He was a close friend of Bob Dyer. The guy on the rod is his son Rick and standing next to him is his son-in- law, Jack. They were all close friends of mine. Steve was chief engineer at Bulimba Brewery in Brisbane and a constant source of free beer!! From memory, that(incident) took place somewhere near Boat Rock off Point Lookout–Correct?
It would have been mid to late 60’s ??? The boat was built by Clem Masters at Cabbage Tree Creek, Shorncliffe, Brisbane. It originally had Mercury outboards; hence the name. It was 30 feet long. He then replaced them with inboard-outboard drives. I was a regular crew on it when I lived in Brisbane and even went to the launching.
Thanks for the Memory.
**Cape Moreton lighthouse** – A view south
(Composite picture) – Flinders Reef \\(below)\\ a few K’s north of the Cape
As young guys we’d have a diving and spear fishing holiday at North Stradbroke Island whenever possible. It was the first place where local professional fishermen were actually friendly toward guys in wet suits.
We’d learned to live with the mild hate coming from everywhere else. Fishermen and divers were not a good mix years ago.
Things changed at the village of Point Lookout when we told the fishermen we’d just sighted a big school of Spanish Mackerel at Flinders Reef, about 50km EACH WAY and north of Cape Moreton.
In fact we made friends for life that day. Years later the fishermen (Bill Lawler, Les Nash and Ken Cashin, Peter Bristow) could remember exactly how many of the big fish they caught at Flinders, thanks to our accidental good advice.
From that day on, we were welcome visitors forever. Our diving gear could be left on the beach, in our boat overnight. We take cameras out and leave the rest. No thieves on the island. It did not stay that way forever.
Use GoogleEarth for a look at this part of Australia. (Flinders Reef does not always show).
We’d launch our small boats with single 40 horse power outboards and travel 50 km north to Cape Moreton and then Flinders Reef further north.
Flinders was, in those days, probably the best spot on the southern Queensland coast for constantly clear waters, big pelagic fish and a few potentially dangerous very large sharks. The magic ingredients. Coral on the north side of the reef, seaweed representing southern waters on the south. An unusual mix.
Early (1961) spear fishermen found heaps of large Black Cod. These did not last very long. Today a protected species as is the giant Queensland Groper.
Point Lookout (Boat launch beach): 27 25 35 46 S – 153 31 41 64 E
Flinders Reef (Approximate): 26 29 24 00 S – 153 29 24 00 E