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Provenance 2022 The two fishery inspectors(1).pdf (3.31 MB)

‘The two fishery inspectors: managing the Victorian fishery, 1885–1894 ’.

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posted on 2023-01-10, 23:58 authored by David HarrisDavid Harris

Abstract

The ‘Outward Letter Book, Inspector of Fisheries and Game’ used between 1885 and 1894 is an unusual archival item at Public Record Office Victoria. Apart from being a rare example of a letter book from the Victorian Government’s colonial-era Department of Fisheries, it was used by only two inspectors over almost 10 years. Rather than the expected matter-of-fact administrative tone, the letters, memos and reports preserved in the Letter Book carry a clear sense of the authors as they express their opinions over a range of matters to do with the fishery. Both inspectors came from maritime backgrounds, so there is strong sense of identification with the commercial fishers with whom they regularly worked. At the same time, there is a palpable resonance with current concerns about the marine environment, species extinction and destructive fishing practices—matters that concerned both commercial fishers and the inspectors. Finally, the Letter Book captures a period of significant change in commercial fishing in the colony, as the older, pre-industrial remnants of artisanal fishing, brought to the colony by commercial fishers during the gold rush, gave way to an imagined industrial fishery with dreams of a Bass Strait trawling industry.

History

Publication Date

2022-12-15

Journal

Provenance: the journal of Public Record Office Victoria

Issue

20

Publisher

Public Record Office Victoria

ISSN

1832-2522

Rights Statement

© David Harris. Permission is given to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of the article, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of Open Access: https://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read/

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