Why you should stay in SA this holiday season

No 9am meetings, no peak hour bus commutes, pinging emails or packed soggy lunches.

The Christmas holidays are so close we can smell them, so pack the camper, fill the barbecue gas bottle and prepare to leave the office long behind.

You backed SA all year, you shopped local and supported all things homegrown.

But the number  of South Australians choosing to explore their own backyard could do with a boost.

“Our international and interstate visitors are up, but we’re not seeing as many South Australians taking advantage of the great holiday locations right on their doorstep,” says Tourism Minister Leon Bignell.

“SA was named as one the top five regions in the world to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet, proving there’s no need to visit places like Bali or Thailand when we have some of the best beaches in the world right here in SA.”

So whether it’s a day-trip to Port Elliot (worth the bakery visit alone) or falling off the map for a while at the Innes National Park, choose SA not only as home – but for adventures too.

Why? Because summer in SA is the stuff that childhood memories are made of.

Here’s the Top 6 reasons to choose SA this holiday season.

The luxurious Amazon Star houseboat.

1. We have the River Murray.
The grand old Murray is a natural beauty winding its way though the Riverland and Murray Mallee before entering the Southern Ocean at Goolwa and the Coorong.

The Murray River is a haven for water-skiers, house-boaters and picnickers.

Bit of a history buff? Many river towns, including Renmark and Mannum, offer rides aboard paddlesteamers which have been chugging along for decades.

West Cape, Innes National Park.

2. We have the Yorke Peninsula.
White sandy beaches and freshly caught seafood? Sold.

Only a short drive away, Yorkes is a fisherman’s paradise, beachgoer’s delight and ice cream indulger’s haven. (The Moonta Coffee Barn and Gelateria is a must-visit).

Whether it’s reeling in southern garfish and blue swimmer crabs at Ardrossan or checking out a lighthouse or two at Corny Point or Cape Spencer, the YP is the place for a typical seaside summer getaway.

Peel Street is the perfect spot for bar hopping.

3. We have laneways.
Peel, Leigh, Bank, Gilbert, Ebenezer. The list goes on.

There’s nothing quite as thrilling as stumbling upon a hidden gem down a narrow laneway.

What’s more satisfying is that you’re bound to sip on local wines, gins, or whiskeys, as most holes in the wall are big on choosing SA. Looking for a new watering hole? Check out 11 bars you might have missed.

4. We have cricket at Adelaide Oval.
Cheer on the Adelaide Strikers at the oval this summer (head to the website for more info).

Even if you lack knowledge of the gentleman’s game the Big Bash League is an easy-to-follow game enjoyed by all.

However, get in quick as tickets are snapped up fast!

Underground ambience at the Desert Cave Hotel. Photo: Facebook.

5. We have opals.
Coober Pedy is a gem. (See what we did there?)

The Desert Cave Hotel in SA’s fascinating “opal capital of the world” is a unique accommodation experience, with a choice of above-ground or dug-out style living.

Old Timers Mine offers a fantastic insight into the history and labour that the first opal miners endured back in the early days.

Other outback places to visit include the Heritage Blinman Mine, a Mid North copper mine that thrived between the years of 1862 and 1907.

Cheers to the holidays!

6. We have (really good) wine.

Ever had the dreaded experience of desperately searching an interstate wine menu for an SA drop?

Troubleshoot that problem by never leaving!

With Adelaide being one of the Great Wine Capitals of the world, you’ll never be left dry.

SA’s globally celebrated wineries (of which there are more than 200) offer a range of experiences from cellar door wine tastings to grazing platers piled with fresh, local produce.

We’d love you to share your local holiday sights with us on social media by using the I Choose SA hashtag #ichoosesa

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our State by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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A print to remember: when SA art meets fashion

What better way to support a South Australian artist, than to wear their work.

The Brand South Australia team has linked up with local artists Emma Hack and Vans The Omega to launch funky t-shirt designs for the I Choose SA campaign.

Visual artist Emma Hack’s print comes from her Geometric Collection, while street artist Joel Moore, behind Vans The Omega, selected one of his graphic prints currently on show at the Published Art House.

Emma has become one of Adelaide’s most prominent creative minds over the past two decades, and is renowned for her works in skin illustration and body paint.

The Emma Hack design.

She recently paired the world of art and wine by launching a gallery and drinking spotARTBAR.

Joel, an internationally recognised street artist, has splashed his signature style not only in Adelaide, but across the globe.

His creations are bold and perfectly balanced between shape and colour.

Guys and gals can grab the limited edition tees exclusively for $34.95 on Brand South Australia’s newly launched online store Shop South Australia.

The Vans The Omega design.

Shop South Australia also stocks State Brand and I Choose SA merchandise, along with an SA online marketplace featuring products from more than 40 local businesses.

The marketplace allows shoppers to find the best products from SA’s top local brands in one online location.

Brand South Australia CEO Karen Raffen says the team is thrilled to have the local artists’ work printed on the I Choose SA tees and launched on the Shop South Australia.

“We wanted to make it easy for consumers to support local businesses, so the marketplace is a natural progression of the I Choose SA campaign,” she says.

“South Australians are passionate about supporting local, plus when we choose local businesses, we’re helping support jobs in our state.”

Check out the cool tees here or visit the marketplace. Or do both!

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our State by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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How the Port Augusta community helped repower the town with solar

Port Augusta’s Lisa Lumsden was in the supermarket when news broke of the town securing a $650m solar thermal power plant – the biggest of its kind in the world.

The announcement of SolarRerserve’s Aurora Solar Energy Project came with the promise of 650 construction jobs, 50 ongoing positions and delivered an immediate boost in town prosperity.

“Everybody was congratulating one another,” says Lisa, a local councillor and former Repower Port Augusta chairperson.

“The community attitude shifted because we had a new future coming.”

The news of the 150mW solar thermal power plant came in August 2017, more than a year after Port Augusta’s northern coal-fired power station closed, marking the end of an era.

After a five-year push from community advocacy group Repower Port Augusta for a switch from coal to solar, the town was on track to becoming a renewable energy powerhouse.

The Repower Port Augusta Group with Premier Jay Weatherill, Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis and SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith during a tour of the community.

The Aurora Solar Energy Project, located 30km north of Port Augusta, incorporates eight hours (1100mW hours) of storage.

Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2018 and be completed by 2020.

It will involve a field of mirrors focusing sunlight onto a receiver at the top of a tower – the tallest of its kind in the world.

PHOTO: SolarReserve.

Liquid salt is pumped through the receiver where it’s heated to 565C before the salt is used to generate steam, drive a single turbine and generate electricity.

It’s designed to store between eight and 10 hours of energy, meaning it can operate when the sun is not shining.

Lisa says its widely recognised that the persistence and grit of the Repower Port Augusta Group helped secure the project.

The group advocated with both the Federal and State governments, held community forums with energy experts and worked with the local council, unions, businesses and environment groups nationwide.

The tower is the tallest of its kind in the world. PHOTO: SolarReserve.

“We were able to create a network of people around Australia to lobby for our town,” Lisa says.

“We want long-term jobs and we know that the coal-fired power station was going to close and that it wasn’t good for the environment.

“Our volunteers were putting in enormous hours and many sacrifices were going on behind the scenes.”

The Aurora Solar Energy Project is one of a handful of renewable energy projects in Port Augusta and expected to increase competition and lower power prices.

“The solar thermal plant will be the jewel in the crown but there are seven other projects under construction,” Lisa says.

“What we’ve got is quite incredible and the rest of the world will be watching.”

Current Repower Port Augusta chairperson Gary Rowbottom is a former Alinta Energy employee, having worked at the coal-fired power station for 17 years.

Repower Port Augusta chairperson Gary Rowbottom at a solar celebration event in September.

He watched the sun set on the Northern Power Station in 2016 but says the move away from coal was “crucial”.

“The cost of conventional (power) generation was going up, the cost of concentrating solar thermal down, and the convergenace of those relative costs reached a point where the gap was not much – with the benefit of no emissions and a reasonable number of jobs,” Gary says.

“I pushed the jobs line pretty hard myself, as that was a differentiating point from other forms of renewable energy, as was, in terms of scale, the amount of storage (mW hours/day) that concentrating solar thermal could provide.”

“There is no better place to build the solar thermal power plant than Port Augusta.”

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Riverland solar solution a saviour for growers

Riverland electrical contractor Mark Yates has put the power in the hands of the region’s food producers.

Redmud Green Energy, an offshoot of Mark’s core business Yates Electrical Services, is allowing landowners to turn vacant or unviable parcels of land into solar farms.

By selling the energy to the National Electricity Market (NEM), the result is a second income stream for farmers and a stronger local economy.

Launching two years ago, the innovative solar scheme has already thrown a lifeline to a number of Riverland grape and citrus growers suffering from high irrigation costs.

Mark Yates of Yates Electrical Services and Redmud Green Energy.

With experience working across electrical, high voltage and wind farm installations since launching Yates Electrical Services in 2004, Mark also knew that SA was in the midst of a “solar boom”.

He realised a way for farmers to generate a supplementary income by reactivating one acre land blocks into solar farms.

So he studied the NEM and installed a trial solar farm in Renmark before Redmud’s first commercial site was switched onto the national grid five years later.

An average 200kW Redmud site features about 800 solar panels mounted over a land footprint of about one acre.

The array produces about 330mW hours annually – enough to power 40 homes for 12 months.

A Redmud solar farm among the vines in the Riverland.

The energy is sold to the national electricity grid through the spot market, offering landholders an average 10% return on their investment per year.

Currently 14 200kW sites are currently operating across the Riverland, while a number of larger arrays are under development with backing from several overseas equity investors.

One of Redmud’s first customers was Renmark-born citrus and grape grower Sam Albanese, who replaced a block of under-producing vines with a solar farm.

Sam says the solar farm earned him a 15% return on investment in 2016 and cut his power bill by a third.

He says the solar farm requires very little maintenance, unlike vineyards, and is hoping to install a second one in early 2018.

“With the solar farm you don’t need to do anything but occasionally spray the weeds around it and that’s it,” he says.

“It makes good economic sense and it’s good for the environment, so it’s a win-win.”

Yates Electrical Services has a team of 35 employees, including five young apprentices.

Mark says the business has received interest interstate, but he plans to keep the focus on SA.

“We understand the market and the process here in SA to get the projects across the line,” he says.

“Our climate is perfect ­– SA is good for renewable resources and we have reasonably priced parcels of land.”

The solar farm offers farmers a secondary income stream by providing an average 10% return on their investment per year.

Mark says he plans for Redmud to diversify in the future, helping to drive down power bills and strengthen SA’s reputation for being a leader in renewable energy.

He says software is currently under development to allow Redmud energy to be sold directly to customers, instead of going through the energy retailer.

“We want to be able to sell electricity directly to the customer … it takes out the middle man,” Mark says.

“Energy is a staple of life and we think that it should be affordable, reliable and not monopolised.”

The electrician-by-trade says SA has a big future in renewable energy.

“Renewable energy has got significant momentum not just in Australia but worldwide,” he says.

“The writing is on the wall.”

Yates Electrical Services is based in Paringa, 5km from Renmark.

This I Choose SA for Industry story is made possible by sponsor, MinterEllison.

Seafood a Ferguson family affair

As a third-generation member of a South Australian seafood family, Eliza Ferguson spent her childhood aboard vessels reeling in some of the state’s most prized species.

Some 20 years later and the daughter of Ferguson Australia Group founder Andrew Ferguson has now dedicated her working life to being the face of the company and its speciality – southern rock lobsters.

“As the saying goes, it (seafood) runs in your blood,” says Eliza, Ferguson’s export and marketing manager.

“I spent my childhood on and off fishing boats for one to two weeks at a time until the age of about 12.

“We had such an amazing childhood.”

It’s no small catch! Eliza with a southern rock lobster.

Eliza works alongside seven of her family members including parents Andrew and Debra, who founded the brand in 2003.

Her grandfather Robert had been a commercial southern rock lobster fisherman in the South East since the late 1960s.

Ferguson Australia is now a respected southern rock lobster and scale fish supplier, with its own fishing fleet, export interests and domestic retail avenues.

It is also a major exporter of southern rock lobster to China.

Earlier in 2017 Ferguson became the first fishery in Australia and the third in the world to gain a prestigious sustainability certification for the shellfish species.

The company was also the world’s first to achieve the Friend of the Sea certification for six other seafood species.

Fishing is a hard day’s work, lifting nets and battling sea swells.


Ferguson’s headquarters is based at Hendon, Adelaide, while it has processing facilities in Port MacDonnell, Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island.

Among its most recent pursuits is the launch of cooked frozen southern rock lobsters in Foodland supermarkets in time for Christmas.

“This year we have given people the opportunity to buy lobster at a reasonable price ($69 each) and they are guaranteed a high-quality product,” Eliza says.

“We want people to enjoy lobster more than once in a blue moon.”

The cooked frozen southern rock lobster is available at Foodland.

The boxed, cooked frozen southern rock lobsters follow a separate range of frozen fish which was relaunched in November, 2016.

The 200g range includes seven local fish species; flathead, King George whiting, Coorong mullet, gummy shark, southern garfish, Bight redfish (red snapper), and ocean jacket and is available at all SA Foodlands.

It also includes commercial scallop meat from Tasmania.

“The range was around before but with different packaging and it was only available at two Foodlands,” Eliza says.

“We have been so supported by Foodland and the consumers, they love to see our products and they trust the quality.”

Eliza says Ferguson wanted to rebuild frozen seafood’s reputation for being of a lower quality compared to fresh fish.

“Frozen fish has a bad reputation and that’s what we are trying to change,” she says.

“We have picked species that are iconic to SA and freeze well.”

The fish are caught in SA waters by a pool of about 100 local fishers.

The Ferguson family (from left) Kate, Andrew, Debra, Will and Eliza.

Kangaroo Island resident Jason Stevens is Ferguson’s factory manager at the Kingscote facility on Kangaroo Island.

It’s his job to liaise with the fishers who bring in the day’s catch ready to be filleted, frozen and packaged for sale.

“We have to be made available for the fishers at any one time,” he says.

Jason has worked with Ferguson for the past seven years and has previous experience working on an oyster farm on the island.

If he’s not processing scale fish or southern rock lobster he’s showing fish fanatics how its done aboard his fishing charter, Tory M Fishing Charters.

“It’s nice and peaceful here,” Jason adds.

Port Lincoln’s southern bluefin tuna is nation’s greatest seafood success story

Ask South Australian seafood industry spokesman Brian Jeffriess AM to describe the taste of a high quality southern bluefin tuna (SBT) and he struggles to find the words.

“It’s a spiritual experience – it’s that good,” he says.

After 30 years in Port Lincoln’s SBT industry, Brian’s fascination with the saltwater giants is yet to wear off and probably never will.

“Tuna must move one body length – an average of one metre – per second for 24 hours a day to wash enough oxygen over their gills to survive,” says the CEO of the Australian SBT Industry Association.

“It’s a very robust fish and we are lucky enough to have a top-class product here in SA.”

Brian Jeffriess, left, has been in the southern bluefin tuna industry for 30 years, watching the industry become a national success story.

SBT is SA’s largest single aquaculture product, with an overseas export worth $126m.

As the Eyre Peninsula’s most renowned seafood product, SBT is a large, red fleshed, sashimi grade fish that is highly sought after by the Japanese market.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Port Lincoln industry, which almost collapsed in the 1980s when the wild catch quota was cut by nearly 70%.

This caused major industry disruption, sending several local fisherman into receivership.

In 1988 Brian, a commodities specialist, was brought in to head the SBT Tuna Industry Association to help turn the fortunes around.

Southern bluefin tuna is a premium product on the Japanese sashimi market.

He came with vast business experience including various roles within the Department of Trade and Industry in Canberra, the OECD in Paris, and Mitsubishi Motors.

“In 1989 we decided to try this dream idea of tuna farming, no one had done it in the world but it was either that or bankruptcy,” Brian says.

“People never thought it would work, but there’s something in the DNA of Port Lincoln …”

SBT farming began in 1991 and was pioneered by first generation immigrants – most notably late Croatian Dinko Lukin.

Their innovative inventions saved the seaside town.

Southern bluefin tuna farm pontoons off Port Lincoln.

Now SBT is farmed by fishers who travel out to the Great Australian Bight and catch the species in a purse seine (net).

The fish are then carefully towed to ranching pontoons off Port Lincoln and fed sardines to aid further growth.

The sardine catch used to feed the tuna is the largest tonnage fishery in Australia.

“When the tuna are captured in the wild they weigh about 17kg each … they are towed to the pontoon over 15 days at one knot,” Brian says.

“The tuna mortality rate used to be 14% and now it’s only 1%.

“We taught the rest of the world to do it and we’ve gradually refined the process over the past 20 years.”

Once grown, 90% of the harvested tuna is frozen, while the other 10% is chilled and airfreighted.

Tuna rosettes at the Port Lincoln Hotel.

While more than 90% of SA’s SBT is exported to Japan, Brian says the domestic market is growing.

“The overall tuna industry is worth $400m and that’s understating it,” he says.

“The footprint of the industry on the Eyre Peninsula surprises even me.”

Living in Adelaide and travelling to Port Lincoln weekly, Brian was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for his contribution to the fishing and aquaculture industries.

He says there’s no better place to enjoy the fruits of the sea than the Eyre Peninsula.

“The whole natural environment, the beauty of the place and the climate is superb,” Brian says.

“Adelaide and Port Lincoln are very rare places in the world, there’s nothing in any European city like them.

“It’s as good as it gets.”

Top 7 local designers to hunt down at Bowerbird Design Market

The Bowerbird Design Market kicks off tomorrow and will see more than 170 independent creatives, designers and craftspeople spread their wares across the Adelaide Showground.

From locally made homewares, jewellery, art and ceramics, we’ve picked out seven SA stalls worth a stop.

Three day festival, running from November 24–26, allows shoppers to meet the makers while enjoying local, artisan eats and beverages.

When: Friday, November 24, 4pm–9pm. Saturday, November 25 and Sunday 26 November, 10am–5pm.

Where: Adelaide Showground, Wayville Pavilion.

Cost: Adults $5, children (12 and under) free.

1. The Butcher Byrd
There’s nothing more nostalgic than the smell of that battered but as soft as butter leather handbag you’ve had for years.

These totes and satchels are designed, drafted, cut, sewn and finished at an Adelaide workshop converted from an old butcher’s shop.

A post shared by Sasha Carroll (@thebutcherbyrd) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js2. Dana Kinter Art With a Gorman collaboration under her belt, Dana is one to watch on the SA fashion scene.

The Fleurieu Peninsula designer has now collaborated with Goolwa design house Kitty Came Home on a cute range of bi-fold clutches.

A post shared by dana kinter (@danakinter) on


3. WineStains
Based in the Barossa Valley, WineStains make homewares out of recycled wine barrels.

From cheeseboards, to coasters, wine racks and breakfast trays, these beautifully crafted pieces feature unique markings and wine stains.

PHOTO: Zoe Campbell Photography & Design.

PHOTO: Zoe Campbell Photography & Design.

4. Etikette Candles
A candle featuring a blend of fruits, spices and a hint of brandy sauce? It’s the Lobethal Christmas Lights all over.

These beautiful hand poured soy wax candles will make you swoon with scents inspired by areas of SA – including the Fleurieu and Yorke peninsulas.

5. Georgia Walker Designs 
What is the festive season without a ‘cha cha’ earring? Adelaide-based Georgia Walker is your go-to girl.

These swinging creations are big, bold and “the best fun your ears can have”.

A post shared by @georgiawalkerdesigns on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js6. Truth Cosmetics

Nothing but the truth is what you’ll get with this natural cosmetics line formulated and manufactured in SA.

Truth products contain all the yummy stuff – macadamia, jojoba, rice bran oil and shea butter blended with essential oils and extracts – and no nasties.

PHOTO: Truth Cosmetics Australia Facebook.

PHOTO: Truth Cosmetics Australia Facebook.

7. Rhicreative Stationery nerds will love this boutique range of greeting cards, calendars, gift wrap, art prints and well … stationery.

Designed and produced on 100% recycled material by Adelaidian Rhiannon Clohesy, these stationery pieces will dress up Christmas pressies so they’re almost too good to unwrap.

A post shared by Rhicreative (@rhicreative) on


We’d love you to share your own local purchases with us on Facebook #ichoosesa

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our State by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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Inside the life of SA’s veteran abalone diver

It’s cold, there’s no other boat in sight, and you’re battling swells 18m below the ocean.

For 63-year-old veteran wild catch abalone diver, Rex Bichard, this has been an ordinary day at work for 40 years.

The Port Lincoln local, who is the South Australian abalone industry’s oldest diver, spends seven hours a day prising the underwater delicacies from rocks in the seas off the state’s West Coast.

“It’s a different world down there,” he says.

“You’re in your own mind all day, but on the flip side, you don’t have to see anyone and you’re the boss.”

More than 600 tonnes of abalone – prized by fine restaurants and Asian countries – are produced in SA each year and exported globally.

Generating $22m for the state, it’s one of SA’s most lucrative seafood markets.

Rex wears a chain mail suit to

Rex with his abalone ‘iron’ and wearing his chain mail suit, which protects from shark bites.

Rex dives 12-18m into the deep, cold waters to collect three abalone species; greenlip, blacklip and roei.

Wearing a heavy, stainless steel chain mail suit, to protect from shark bites and keep him on the ocean floor, he uses an abalone ‘iron’ to lift the shellfish from the rocks.

Once collected in his bag, the catch is parachuted to the surface and collected by Rex’s on-deck sheller and brother-in-law Darryl Carrison.

Aside from shucking and icing the abalone meat, Darryl is also responsible for operating the boat.

“We never use an anchor, so the sheller follows the diver’s every move,” Rex says.

“The sheller always has to pay attention.”

Adhering to annual catch quotas, Rex says 150kg of abalone meat is a “good day” at sea.

His catches are delivered to Port Lincoln co-operative Western Abalone which exports mainly to Asian markets while the rest is sent to high-end Australian restaurants.

“Abalone is like a snail that moves around and forages for food,” Rex says.

“They strike on (the rock) with about 300 pounds of pressure per square inch so hopefully you get them before they latch down hard.”

Rex’s love for seafood has been inherited by his two daughters, Amanda and Nicole, who are active in the abalone industry.

Abalone dishes are prized by fine restaurants in Australian capital cities and in Asia.

Abalone dishes are highly valued by fine restaurants in Australian capital cities and in Asia.

After countless hours in the ocean, Rex has found “not much treasure but some peculiar fish”.

Among those less peculiar and more fearsome is one of the ocean’s top predators – the great white shark.

Over the years Rex has been in the underwater path of four of them and knew friends who lost their lives to the notorious species.

“They are a wild card and always a worry,” he says.

“The key is to never turn your back on them, it’s all in the body language.”

Rex, originally from the UK, settled in Port Lincoln as a young boy in the 1960s.

After completing an economics degree and becoming an accountant for a year, he decided his “heart wasn’t in it”.

“I got a job as an abalone sheller in 1975 and I’ve been in the game ever since,” he says.

“Port Lincoln is a great place to live and when I work I like to be by myself.

“I don’t see another boat on the horizon.”

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Kane Williams at home on the ocean floor

Whether it’s diving 18m under the sea or running Port Lincoln’s abalone co-operative, Kane Williams has always been at home by the South Australian ocean.

For 10 years he was an abalone diver before swapping reef beds for dry land as general manager for Port Lincoln based processor Western Abalone.

“I was born here and I just love the area,” Kane says.

“Our seafood and our marine environment are as good as it gets.”

Kane Williams dived for wild abalone before taking on the role as general manager for Western Abalone.

Kane Williams dived for wild abalone before taking on the role as general manager for Western Abalone.

Western Abalone, formed in 1982, processes abalone caught by hand from reefs along SA’s remote western coastline.

Divers collect the large sea snails – which are a delicacy in fine restaurants and in Asian countries – from rocks on the bottom of the ocean.

The life of an abalone diver is tough, as they spend up to seven hours in deep, cold waters often sighting sharks and stingrays.

Kane was introduced to the world of abalone by his wife Karine’s family who “needed somebody to help out”.

He had also studied marine science and aquaculture at university and had worked as a commercial diver and biologist in the tuna sector.

“I also worked in aquaculture for the (State) Government in Adelaide, assessing aquaculture farms,” Kane says.

Abalone are collected by hand from the bottom of the ocean.

Abalone are collected by hand from the bottom of the ocean.

In mid-2014 he landed the role as Western Abalone’s general manager.

“I always delivered my abalone there (Western Abalone) as a fisherman and so had a good understanding of the fishery and the back-end of the business,” Kane says.

“It was a bit of a change to start with but I’ve been really happy with the move.

“Being able to jump into sales and marketing was a lucky occurrence for me because a big part of what I do is working with overseas clients.

“They know I’m not like a typical salesman, if they want to ask me anything about the ins and outs of the industry, they can.”


Western Abalone processes 500 tonnes of abalone every year.

Western Abalone is at the centre of the lucrative industry in SA, processing about 500 tonnes of both wild-catch and farmed abalone annually.

It processes three species of wild-caught abalone including greenlip, blacklip and roei.

The majority – more than 90% – is exported to Asian markets while the rest is sent to top restaurants in Australian capital cities.

As for the most important question – what do abalone taste like?

“They have a unique, subtle flavour – sweet and clean and a little bit like oysters and lobster,” Kane says.

The Golden Line product line's name derives from This name derives from the gold-coloured lifeline abalone divers rely on for their air supply while underwater. The Golden Line brand should give you absolute confidence in the quality and provenance of the product. In all forms except the live abalone, we print our icon on the product to confirm its authenticity.

The Golden Line product name derives from the gold-coloured lifeline abalone divers rely on for their air supply while underwater.

Western Abalone has set itself strict sustainability standards including annual catch quotas and size limits.

Kane says sustainable fishing practices are more important now than ever.

“We voluntarily implement measures to protect our industry … we are very responsible and proactive,” he says.

“Globally wild catch abalone has been declining for decades and we are very aware of that over this way (the West Coast), where we try to protect the resource as much as possible.

“It’s a highly regulated industry and we are one of the only fisheries that is looking daily at what is happening on the bottom of the ocean.”

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Fishing for freshness in Australia’s seafood capital

Port Lincoln’s Lana Harvey knows a fresh fish when she sees one.

It’s all in the eyes, she says.

“You can tell by the look of their eyes, that’s a pretty easy tell-tale sign,” says the Fresh Fish Place’s wholesale logistics manager.

But quality is a given where Lana works – Port Lincoln, the country’s seafood capital and home to the largest fishing fleet in the Southern Hemisphere.

When a diner in a high-end Sydney restaurant is sliding their fork through a King George whiting, it’s possible that same fish was selected by Lana just 24 hours earlier.

The Fresh Fish Place's Lana Harvey is responsible for selecting high-quality premium seafood for distribution across Australia.

The Fresh Fish Place’s Lana Harvey with a Spencer Gulf hiramasa kingfish.

Lana is The Fresh Fish Place’s go-to woman for finding high-grade, wild caught and farmed seafood and selling it onto five star restaurants and even celebrity chefs.

When a professional fisherman arrives at the Port Lincoln factory, Lana is ready to survey the quality of the catch.

“When I see something good come through the doors, that is exciting,” she says.

“When a car pulls up I’m straight outside and when it’s quality I’m straight on the phone and I can’t wait to get it to destinations all over Australia.

“The quality speaks for itself and sells itself.”

The family-owned Fresh Fish Place is the Eyre Peninsula’s largest seafood supplier, with a throughput of about 200 tonnes of seafood annually.

Species include deep-sea flathead, southern garfish, King George whiting, Spencer Gulf hiramasa kingfish, queen snapper, gummy shark and bluefin tuna.


The Fresh Fish Place includes a factory direct seafood outlet and fish café.

Other marine species include Coffin Bay, Franklin Harbour and Smokey Bay oysters, Bass Strait scallops, Port Lincoln black mussels, Coffin Bay sand crabs, and southern calamari.

The seafood is supplied to hotels, restaurants, fish shops and supermarkets.

Port Lincoln born Lana says The Fresh Fish Place struggles to keep up with demand for supply, as South Australian seafood continues to be recognised as world class.

Every fish that comes through the doors must meet strict sustainability criteria, including size limits.

“When we are receiving fish we are required to check sizes and if it’s undersized we are required to report it,” Lana says.

“For the commercial fishery, quotas also help with maintaining our sustainable fishing industry.”

Lana says seafood quality is maintained from the moment the fish is hooked by the fisherman.


The Fresh Fish Place is home to 27 employees and has a throughput of about 200 tonnes of seafood every year.

“The moment the fish is caught to the moment it’s cooked and ready to put on your plate, it must be kept at temperature, generally 5C or under is ideal.”

“We absolutely have some of the best seafood in the world and the way that it’s managed is brilliant.”

The Fresh Fish Place is also a factory direct seafood outlet and fish café, attracting 40,000 customers every year.

With 50% of the customers being visitors, the fish café is a popular spot to enjoy a pan fried or battered fish shortly after its been filleted straight off the production table.

Along with public tours of the factory, The Fresh Fish Place also incorporates the Port Lincoln Seafood Cooking School which brings together the culinary profession and seafood marketers.

One of 27 Fresh Fish Place employees, Lana says she’s proud to be a part of the SA seafood industry, a sector responsible for 2300 direct jobs.

“Port Lincoln is the seafood capital of Australia and it shows in the quality of the seafood that comes out of the region,” she says.

“We have beautiful clean waters and a huge, naturally deep harbour – it’s a beautiful fishing environment.”

Lana Harvey is an I Choose SA for Seafood ambassador. Listen to her story below.

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