Blending in with the greenery on Kangaroo Island

I’ve been experimenting with a new look today.

grotbagsNice, eh?

Obviously, this is Grotbags and not me. As if I’d wear a hat like that. I’m referring more to the green skin.

It’s a good look, and one I managed to achieve pretty well thanks to an hour-long crossing from Adelaide on the Kangaroo Island ferry.

Kangaroo Island is the last stop on my tour of Nuffield chum’s homes on this side of the country, and is home to Ben Tyley, his incredibly glam and beautiful wife Kerry and their boys, Damon and Jae.

Ben is a cray fisherman and can usually be found in his shiny silver boat up to 30 miles out to sea waiting for crays to crawl into the pots he chucks into the sea.

Things aren’t quite going that way at the moment though, thanks to an import tariff being imposed by Australia’s largest importer of crays, China. Having already been hit by quotas, which were implemented about a decade ago and immediately knocked two-thirds of the profit out of the industry, the latest debacle has all but brought cray fishing on the island to a halt.

It seems Australian fishermen have been trading crays with China on the black market for years, and finally the Chinese government has cottoned on to what’s been happening.

Narked that it’s been happening under their noses for so long, and that it can’t settle an agreement with the Australian government right away, China has whacked a 100% import tarrif on the fish. Quota on the same imported crays from New Zealand is just a fraction of that.

Overnight the price of crays has plummeted, meaning it’s barely worth Ben and his fellow fisherman going out to fish – with a $28/kg cost of production, a price of $40/kg on such a limited quota just isn’t enough to be viable.

Ben now has to play a tricky game of waiting to see if a trade agreement can be sorted so the price increases. However the longer he leaves it, the closer he gets to the end of fishing season, meaning he might not make his quota before he has to bring his pots back in.

If he goes out fishing tomorrow Ben’s promised to take me on his boat to show me what he he gets up to on the ocean. That’s what he claims anyway, I reckon he just wants to see just how green my face will go.

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