Posts Tagged new south wales
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.
Grey nurse sharks were protected especially to give tourist divers something worthwhile to look at, and to shut-up a handful of environmentalists with underwater camera’s who were conning the media into thinking only 500 sharks existed.
How anyone could possibly count all the sharks at every reef on the east coast never occurred to the media, they just ran with the fairy story while the Fisheries responded with a protective ban.
The bottom line is, it was probably a good thing to have the species protected.
Suggestion for an aspiring PhD student: Investigate the link between past onshore droughts and ‘vanishing sharks’ to determine if there is a connection why this species was scarce in the years before 1986. Include power head spears in the equation, plus professional fishing catches processed through markets.
Christine Danaher approaches a small grey nurse shark resting under a reef ledge. Located north of Forster, New South Wales, the area has been called Taurus Reef by local dive charter boats. When the flash went off the shark bolted.
There are about thirty beaches north and south of the City of Sydney. Avalon is in the far north. I speared my first shark inside the headland. It was a very small, young grey nurse. Today I’d be fined a fortune for the ‘crime’. In 1961 it was a different story. Grey nurse were still ‘man eaters’ then.
**TIM BRISTOW WAS A FREE DIVER – HERE’S A DIFFERENT STORY**
On the rocks below **Tim Bristow** (the legendary tough guy and former bouncer at the Newport Arms Hotel) caught dozens of lobsters over the years.
Tim also saved people from problems that might have escalated without his intervention, myself included. This was how he once helped me out.
It was 1981, I’d parked in a doctors underground private car space at Elizabeth Bay apartments that led to a serious incident. At the time I planned it to be just a brief stay.
Hours later I returned and found my car blocked-in with a note on my windshield saying the car could remain stuck there for the whole weekend.
After the NRMA (motoring association) refused to help on the basis it was on private property I phoned and asked Tim could he help in any way to get my car out, Tim replied:
\\”That person is one of the most dangerous people I know in all of Sydney. If you break into his car to move it, he’ll lie that you’ve stolen drugs or something from it. All you can do is be humble and apologize and hope he will accept”.\\
I should have added that a previous attempt had resulted in the doctor’s apartment door being slammed in my face. He had opened the door and spoke standing while **completely naked**.
(I was with his neighbors, a mother and daughter I’d been visiting).
So I tried again.
The sincere and humble apology was sufficient and sure taught me a good lesson about parking in other people’s space.
Another point, when I first called Tim for advice he said: “This is a sick joke, **Tony Flook** has put you up to this”?
“Definitely not”, I replied.
The doctor had written me a note on his prescription pad, which I read again, including the doctors name. That was when Tim said how dangerous this person could be. A man who had almost ruined Tim’s life in the past.
What a strange and fortunate coincidence for me that I should ask Tim for advice, especially when it concerned a person who had already had such a profound and serious impact on Tim’s own life.
We did holiday time underwater film shows at Narooma, NSW South Coast where there is this interesting (in the right angle) natural sculpture on the southern side of the river mouth.
Pictured: (The late) Brian Davies at work under Sugarloaf Point lighthouse.
The link between lobster (crayfish) and wobbegong sharks is interesting. They both shelter in prefered rocky crevices for safety. The main enemy of the lobster is octopus which ‘suck the living flesh’ from within the lobster’s hard protective shell.
A favorite food of the Wobbegong shark is octopus. It was a relationship from heaven for Wobbegong and lobster to live close to one another. ‘Wobbies’ got to eat ‘occies’ (who were seeking lobster) and the ‘lobster’ did well out of it.
But, lobster were targeted by ‘starving’ fishermen because of their increasing value linked to a decreasing supply.
At the critical point a few years ago, the lobster supply was critical. What happens next?
The value of shark meat increases, especially the white-fleshed Wobbegong fillets. It then became worthwhile for lobster fishermen to market Wobbegong shark.
This decline in Wobbegong shark must be good news for the octopus, who will eat whatever lobster are left! The situation gets worse.
Expect the price of eastern rock lobster to rise even further.
Extendable text. Movietone News black and white archival library movie film of Wobbegong shark(held by tail) biting man’s arm; (text only) ‘more divers bittten by this species than by any other shark’; 35mm transparencies of Wobbegong fins, heads and tails underwater (including a Grey Nurse head).