Marine, underwater photographs made by John Harding from his time as editor of FATHOM magazine (Australia).
(Top) Clarke Espie featured in Everybody’s magazine “High Stakes at 16 Fathoms” (1967); Abalone shellfish galore at 15 meters near Tathra NSW; Bob Grounds shucking the catch (1965). The selling price was about sixty cents per kilo probably equal to $6 per kilo today. A fraction of the price abalone sells for in 2009 as each shellfish is roughly worth $50.
(Below) Clarke Espie after 40 minutes dive time at 20 meters near Mallacoota and two bags of abs; Weighing the catch at Mallacoota (Victoria, Australia) wharf, (both 1967).
Abalone diving regulations in New South Wales were years behind those in Victoria. As a consequence tiny abalone were ‘harvested’ which ruined the future of the industry. Tathra was a base for many southern divers. The clever ones went further south. Some went broke others made fortunes.