Port Lincoln: Home of the largest fishing fleet in the Southern Hemisphere
With such a large seafood industry, fishing is naturally a big part of Port Lincoln.
The earliest fishermen were the Barngarla Aboriginal people who lived by the sea in the warmer months and relied on the sea for survival. They constructed a network of fish traps in many of the local creeks and shallow bays along the coastline, some of which can still be seen today. They caught the fish with spears, by hand or by using a unique ‘fishing boomerang.’ Called the wadna, this was only used in two other places in Australia—the Kimberleys and Arnhem Land.
Matthew Flinders surveyed the area in 1802, and by the 1820s, mainly French whaling ships were fishing the local bays and island regions. Sealers visited the area shortly after in 1828.
Commercial Fishing Pioneers
More than 100 years later, commercial fishing in the area took off after the State Government loaned the Haldane Family £20,000 to build a super vessel in the 1950s. The 120-ton, 84-foot wooden tuna clipper MFV Tacoma was Australia’s first purpose-built tuna fishing vessel and is still a working boat taking tours to local fishing grounds.
Meet Our Seafood Producers and Retailers
Today, Port Lincoln is home to the largest fishing fleet in the Southern Hemisphere with the fishing and aquaculture industry employing hundreds of locals and contributing millions to South Australia’s economy.
Fresh-farmed and wild-caught, high-quality, southern bluefin tuna, yellowtail kingfish, southern rock lobster, green lip and black lip abalone, Spencer Gulf king prawns, Boston Bay blue mussels, and Pacific and Angasi oysters are exported all over the world.