FISHING FOR THE PAST: CASTING NETS AND LINES INTO AUSTRALIA’S EARLY COLONIAL HISTORY ROSENBERG PUBLISHING – 221 PAGES, 120+ COLOUR ILLUSTRATIONS. BY JULIAN PEPPERELL
Dr Julian Pepperell draws on his life’s work as a fish biologist and fisheries scientist to tease out the earliest written and visual accounts of fishing around the Australian coast by the very first Dutch, English and French explorers Fishing For The Past attempts to answer such questions as:
• What fish were caught by Captain James Cook and many of the other early European explorers and mariners when they first cast their nets and lines on our shores?
• Were they struck by the abundance from Australia’s pristine waters?
• How have coastal fish populations fared over the past 200 to 300 years?
• If one fished the same locations today using similar methods, would the same fish be caught?
The answers to these questions are sometimes surprising. Of course, the coastal waters around the Australian continent were not completely unfished. For tens of thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, Aboriginal people had been fishing these waters with spears, hooks, nets and traps. These activities were also recorded in the same journals and diaries, and by gleaning these records we can learn how the original inhabitants of this land fished at the time of first contact. The Standard soft-cover edition ($34.95) is available through all good bookshops, or signed copies through Julian. A deluxe leatherette-bound Limited Edition of only 100 numbered and signed copies is also available through Julian. Price – $175 (stop press – these are going fast). Contact: