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Fishing for the Past - Casting nets and lines into  Australia's early colonial history

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Fishing for the Past - Casting nets and lines into Australia's early colonial history

Julian Pepperell

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After long voyages, hungry crews needed to be fed. On board every ship were the keen fishermen, , catching fish to eat, but also ready with a great fish tale. On some voyages there were the resident naturalists and artists, recording, sketching and painting each new species found – some familiar, some completely alien.

For tens of thousands of years Aboriginal people had been fishing these waters with spears, hooks, nets and traps, and gathering shellfish from the beaches, rocks and reefs. These activities were of considerable interest to the early mariners and were recorded in the same journals and diaries, so by these direct links we learn how the original inhabitants of this land fished at the time of first contact.

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