PAGE 112 I LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE GIPSY POINT MALLACOOTA EDEN PAMBULA MERIMBULA TURA BEACH TATHRA BEGA BERMAGUI (except Christmas Day) Wild Catch - the development of Eden’s abalone industry Sesqui: an event to remember Lifeline: Eden & the Sydney-Hobart yacht race Until 10 March Peaks, plains and pastures - works by Australian award-winning artist, John Downton From 14 March Wild catch: the history of Eden’s abalone The Eden Killer Whale Museum has been in opera- tion for more than 80 years, acknowledging the bond between killer whales and man during Eden’s whaling years that ceased in 1930. Recognised as one of the most progressive and innovative museums in regional New South Wales, the award-winning museum also probes into the history of other maritime and fishing ventures of the Sapphire Coast. More than 100 species of abalone can be found around the world and it has been a traditional food supplement valued by all first nation peo- ples that have had access to it. The growth of Australia’s abalone market was initially influenced by the migration of Chinese to the Australian goldfields, and later in the early 1960s as natural resources in other countries became overfished. In late 1963, a concentrated effort in the commercial abalone fishery started on the Far South Coast of New South Wales. With a restricted fishery in other parts of the country, NSW waters proved extremely attractive for divers to make big earnings, and it wasn’t long before abalone stocks became vulnerable to overfishing. Today, the commercial abalone fishery is a tightly regulated industry with a concern by all involved to ensure the longevity of the species, its natural environ- ment and its long term avail- ability for future generations. Abalone divers have been described by some people as having a unique character that enables them to withstand the cold depths of the ocean in order to harvest by hand one of the world’s most unusual delicacies. Delve into this colourful chapter in Eden’s fishing histo- ry with its latest exhibition, Wild Catch . Through objects, archives and interviews, Wild Catch explores the unique underwa- ter ‘office’ of the abalone diver and the intriguing mollusc that has been a prized catch for thousands of years. Wild Catch will be on show at the Eden Killer Whale Museum until December 15, 2019. To make the most of your visit to the Eden Killer Whale Museum, or if you have limited time, guided tours are ideal. Each tour is personalised and run by a member of the ‘Friends of the Museum’ group or a committee member, each knowing all about the muse- um’s exhibitions and ready to add interesting background information to each tour. From small runabouts and large displacement hulls to fast sharkcats, the types of boats used in the abalone industry reflect changes in the catch restrictions faced by divers over the years. The Cutty Sark , rebuilt on the shores of Merimbula Lake, was used by local diver, Tas Warn, in the early years when SCUBA tanks were still being used. The introduction of hookah hose diving meant divers no longer had to return to the surface to replenish their air tanks. Photo: Clare Warn. Visit the Eden Killer Whale Museum and learn the stories of the orcas that helped the whalers, like Old Tom. Photo: Eden Killer Whale Museum Things to do in Eden • Learn the town’s whaling history at the Eden Killer Whale Museum. • Splash around at beautiful Aslings Beach. • Board a cruise out to sea and be joined by frolicking dolphins. • Pitch a tent in a campground in Ben Boyd National Park and explore its wonders. • Visit the historic Davidson Whaling Station located on the shores of the Kiah Inlet at Twofold Bay. • Trek the 31 kilometre Light to Light walk from Boyd’s Tower to Green Cape Lighthouse.