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18/02/2008: "AUSTRALIAN ABALONE DIVER ...... Mallacoota, Victoria"

abs2 (49k image)

The underwater gold rush for abalone began in the mid-sixties. Spear fishermen with underwater experience quit their usual jobs and flocked to ports like Mallacoota near the New South Wales and Victoria border.

What happened next would fill a book. A good project for anyone with an interest in probing the minds of these underwater professionals.

A warning, cold water slows blood flow and may starve brains of lively thinking, as was claimed and even admitted. Or perhaps it was the monotony of scraping shellfish from rocks?

Watching for big sharks on the prowl should have kept senses awake. In the sixties there was a boom then a bust period for ab divers. License restrictions later introduced saved the business in the seventies.


February 2008

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