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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Port Lincoln, South Australia

Makybe Diva on the foreshore

Port Lincoln is the seafood capital of Australia and our largest commercial fishing port , worth millions of dollars to local and state economies. Abalone, mussels, the best oysters (a personal opinion), the Spencer Gulf prawn, southern rock lobster, crab, calamari and bluefin tuna all come from here.

Port Lincoln is also home to millionaires. Known as the Tuna Kings, a number of migrant fisherman became fabulously wealthy because they were granted a licence to fish for bluefin tuna, the preferred fish of the Japanese for sashimi.

Men like Tony Santic, owner of Makybe Diva, the magnificent mare who won the Melbourne Cup three times and Dinko Lukin whose son Dean was an Olympic weightlifting champion.

In July 2008 Centrex Metals wanted to operate an iron ore mine 140kms north of Port Lincoln, and ship the ore from Port Lincoln - this pristine aquaculture hub of Australia. Tuna Baron and Chairman of Clean Seas Tuna, Hagen Stehr was not amused and threatened to shift his multi-million dollar operations to South Africa or Mauritius if the state approved iron ore exports from his port.

Hagen Stehr had a dream - to successfully raise bluefin tuna in captivity. Thanks to his initiative and determination, they have finally done it and now Australia will be able to achieve total sustainability in tuna.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) were worried that the Mediterranian stock of bluefin tuna would collapse by 2012 so the future success of this new venture appears to be guaranteed.