25 September 2023

Fisheries history an online catch

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The National Library of Australia (NLA) has published a half century of fisheries history in digital format in cooperation with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC).

The publication provides a chronology of Australian fisheries development from World War II onwards.

Director-General of the NLA, Marie-Louise Ayres said the preservation of the Australian Fisheries Newsletter and Australian Fisheries had resulted in the digitisation of 593 issues of the newsletter from October 1941 to June 1995, now available online, for free, through the library’s Trove portal.

“The series encompasses the development and ultimate demise of the whaling industry, including the Commonwealth’s promotion of shore-station whaling,” Dr Ayers said.

“We are delighted with the collaboration which has given this historic Australian publication a second life via the library’s digitisation program.”

She said that fisheries biologist for 36 years with the Department of Primary Industry Fisheries Division and its subsequent manifestations, Albert Caton, was instrumental in achieving the digitisation of the collection.

Mr Caton said the Fisheries Newsletter was first published quarterly by the Fisheries Division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, a predecessor of today’s CSIRO.

“By 1950, after joint production with the Department of War Organisation and Industry and later the Ministry of Post War Reconstruction, Fisheries Newsletter had become a monthly magazine and publication was taken over by the Commonwealth Fisheries Office of the Commonwealth Department of Commerce and Agriculture,” Mr Caton said.

“The newsletter was distributed free to all commercial fishermen holding a Commonwealth Fisheries Licence.”

He said publication ceased in June 1995 after a Commonwealth decision that commercial publication of such a magazine was more appropriate.

The newsletter collection on Trove can be accessed at this PS News link.

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