We took our staff out paua diving today.
Paua is a shellfish known in other parts of the world as abalone. Fishing is one of New Zealand’s largest industries especially in our little port town. I watch the fishing boats travel back and forth from where I live, as you all well know because I post a lot of photos of the harbour activity.
My husband was a paua diver for nearly 20 years before I arrived here. As family, we hear his diving stories a lot. One day he was back up to a cliff while under water by a huge great white shark. I think that would have been my last day diving if it had been me but he grabbed his crew, traveled around to the next bay and jumped in the water again. These days he only dives recreationally as “its a young man’s game” as he puts it. So, today, we went for a recreational dive. I say, we, I took my camera and photographed the venture and they were in the water. Truth be told and as you can see from the photographs, they weren’t really diving either…the tide was out and they were standing in knee to waste deep water. Were it not for the waves crashing on the rocks, they wouldn’t have gotten very wet. Nonetheless, it was fabulous fun.
I sat on the big rocks you see in the photos practicing using my manual settings. You will see needed improvements but I am learning. A reader suggested that when I am ready to shoot a photo that I stop, breath, and then proceed. It was great advice. I can see some improvements.
You will notice a photo of the Fisheries Officer. New Zealand’s Quota Management System (QMS) was introduced to monitor fish stocks and annual catches to ensure that New Zealand’s fish resources are sustainably utilised. This system is in place for the fisheries industry; however, there are quota limits for recreational diving as well for a couple of reasons: 1. Sustainability. New Zealand is protecting their resources so that we have the privilege of doing what we did today for years to come…or at least that is the goal. 2. Money, honey. Paua is a lucrative business and in order to sell paua, you must own or lease quota. Rodney tells us that on his best day paua diving, he made something like $100,000 for the day. Working back home, I wouldn’t have made that in my dental assisting career in a year. Needless to say, recreational divers would like a piece of that action…but it’s not allowed. So, the Fisheries Officers usually are not too far away on beautiful days like today. They will check to make sure that you only have your catch limit (10 per person participating IN THE WATER). Don’t worry, I got a cut of the spoils but we were only allowed 40 pauas today because I was only the photographer.
I hope you enjoy the photos. Thank you for stopping by.
As we were driving home, my husband said to me, “That was so much fun. It was good for my soul.”
Yes, it was. Very satisfying.
But he’s actually taking a nap at the moment because it was also exhausting.
Have a great day, everyone. Do something that makes your heart sing today!
Just a little FYI, my husband is the one looking like a proud papa bear…and wearing the winter sweater on a hot summer’s day. lol