Life’s been good for old-timers

Crayfishermen Nic Sofoulis and Keith Sloan.
Crayfishermen Nic Sofoulis and Keith Sloan.

It was established in the mid 1950s to service the local fishing and crayfishing industries that more than 60 years later is still thriving, according to locals.

Nic Sofoulis (62) describes crayfishing as a ‘vibrant yet closed industry’.

His parents moved to Ledge Point in 1955 where his father was an operations manager for the processing and exporting of lobsters overseas.

Mr Sofoulis has been in the industry for more than 50 years himself, having recently passed on his boat to his son, and recalls many fond memories as a young child.

‘When I was up here I used to sneak out to go on the boats with my brother all day. I was only five and my mother used to be flabbergasted that I would sneak out at 4am and sneak off,’ he said.

‘I just loved boats, and from 12 onwards I used to run ropes and floats on the boats and every season I worked the whites (crayfish).’

Mr Sofoulis bought his first boat in 1974 and never looked back.

‘In those days we caught 15-25 tonne of crays a season.’

Keith Sloan (74) settled in Ledge Point in 1959 when the industry was just beginning.

‘There were maybe a dozen boats at the time, I did the whites run. I got married in 1960 and have been here ever since,’ he said.

‘The lobster season is November to mid August and the number of boats in the industry has halved in the last five years due to a quota on how many western rock lobster you can catch.

‘But for people like Nic and myself who have had to adapt, the future is quite good.’