Australia’s oldest fishing shop to close its doors after changing hands for three generations
- Australia’s oldest fishing shop is set to cut its losses and close down
- Owner claims new state fishing restrictions the reason behind closure
Australia’s oldest fishing store Bluewater Tackle World is set to close its doors after 90 years of trading.
The store in Myaree, just south of Perth’s Swan River, will be the last of the family-owned franchise that started in 1932 and has stretched across three generations.
The state’s former deputy premier and current owner of Bluewater Tackle Liz Harvey, has blamed new restrictions on commercial fishing for the business’ decline.
Australia’s oldest fishing shop, Bluewater Tackle World (pictured), is set to close its doors after new state fishing regulations brough in a 35 per cent decrease in sales
Among the restrictions introduced this year is a prohibition on catching the demersal scalefish for six months a year.
It also limits the amount of West Australian dhufish, baldchin groper and pink snapper allowed to be caught per person per trip.
The store was first started by Ted Harvey in 1932 in Perth’s beachside suburb of Scarborough as an expansion to a news agency.
After the business passed through the hands of his sons, Jack and Ross, and to Jack’s son Hal and wife Liz, five new stores had opened under the Bluewater Tackle World name.
After almost a century, the store is set to shut next month when its lease finishes.
‘It’s very bittersweet,’ Ms Harvey told Nine.
She blames the restrictions on recreational fishing from boats as the main reason behind the shop’s steep decline in recent sales.
‘Looking down the barrel at another year lease with the uncertainty of the fishing closure I couldn’t make any other decision,’ Ms Harvey said.
‘Fisheries have made a decision to cut the quotas for what people can pull out.’
The store was first started by Ted Harvey in 1932 in Perth’s beachside suburb of Scarborough as an expansion to a news agency and since passed through three generations of Harveys
The Department of Fisheries introduced the restrictions in order to prevent overfishing and ensure demersal fish for future anglers.
A Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development spokesman insisted the restrictions were necessary for the fish population.
‘We acknowledge that the management changes will have an impact on all sectors but these changes are necessary to meet the 2030 recovery timeframe and ensure there are plenty of demersal fish for the future,’ he told 9News.
‘The WA Government has been actively promoting alternative recreational fishing opportunities encouraging rec fishers to ‘switching their fish’ to other non-demersal species such as mackerels, tuna, herring, whiting, squid and rock lobsters.’
The spokesperson noted that West Australia’s restrictive approach is a softer blow than South Australia’s all-in-all ban which has hit businesses harder.
‘Feedback from tackle stores in South Australia, where a total pink snapper ban is currently in place, indicates a far worse outcome for local businesses than Western Australia’s balanced approach to restoring sustainability to fish stocks, which have been under severe threat for more than a decade.’
Other Tackle World stores in Australia, which are owned independently, are unaffected by the closure.