The Tuna Season in Victoria
In Southern Victoria (Australia) the Tuna season started on Saturday. Southern Blue fin Tuna is usually caught from Port Fairy, Portland and Port McDonnell in South Australia. On the Friday, the day before the start of the season the Princes Highway which runs to these ports are busy with boat trailers. Literally hundreds of boats descend on these ports.
In Port Fairy the local police counted 200 trailers parked in a town of normally 2000 inhabitants. In Portland which is bigger the number was also bigger and the queue to the launching ramp was a kilometer long, I was told. This is a time of watching the boats coming back in with their catches. The locals (like myself) go to the wharf to watch the commotion and admire the boats. At this time (late May) the weather here can be atrocious, but this weekend it was almost "summery" with brilliant sunshine and temperatures reaching high teens and twenty. Most of the catch was around 10 -15 Kg, although there were a few larger catches.
The guys that left in the morning , spent the day fishing, trawled 100ks or so , then cleaned the catch and relaxed would have slept like a baby.
The next day Sunday most were faced with a 200 -400 km drive
For more information look at http://www.wildblue.com.au/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=57
The Boat ramp In Portland, it was busy all day
Trailers everywhere . The queue to the boatramp for launching was a Kilometer long (as I was told) in the early hours at the start of the season
The gutting benches ran with blood all afternoon A crowd watched as men dispatched with their catches and filled their "eskies" (ice chests)
Everyone was a winner. the kids caught fish as there was a lot of tuna offal in the water and the Portland Seal (he permanently lives in the harbour) begged for scraps.
A montage of several scenes around Port Fairy and Portland
The bench in Port Fairy
The ramp in Port Fairy. Note the craft lined up in the river waiting to be collected from the ramp
As soon as a trailer came off the ramp, another trailer reversed to get their boat
The street was a queue all afternoon to get to the ramp