Thursday, March 16, 2017 4:21pm
Before the Eyre Peninsula’s world recognised fishing practices were created, a sector that experienced the first hand effects of unregulated fishing is the Southern Blue Fin Tuna industry. Tuna fishing in Port Lincoln started in the 1950s when the F.V Tacoma, a shipping vessel still visible in the Port Lincoln Marina today, initiated a survey of tuna fish stocks and caught its first catch of Southern Blue Fin Tuna. The results of this survey saw an expansion in the tuna fishing industry and over the years, witnessed record catches, reaching a peak of 21,000 tonnes in 1982. These were days of unregulated fishing and as a consequence, by 1983, schools of Southern Bluefin Tuna were scarce – completely over-exploited and heavily over-capitalised.
In response, The Australian Government handed out Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) to fisherman to prevent further exploitation and growth in the industry – an initiative the Japanese and New Zealand governments also quickly adopted. By 1989, all three countries were limited to a total yearly combined quota of just 11,750 tonnes.
With demand set by the soon recognised Japanese sashimi market, the industry soon progressed from poling individual tuna into vessel tanks, to towing whole schools of tuna in specially designed towing pontoons back to Port Lincoln for on-growing (fattening up). This change in catching approach facilitated the rapid expansion and development of the Port Lincoln Tuna, multi billion dollar industry.
Forming the foundation of this wealth are the finite quotas which, treated as private property that can be bought, sold or handed down to the next generation, making them very valuable. For instance, a permit to catch one tonne of tuna is valued at approximately $150,000 but has been sold for as much as $240,000. Perhaps the most famous sale took place in 2003, when one tuna fisherman sold permits to 337 tonnes for a reported $72 million, or $214,000 a tonne. Part of these earnings were promptly invested into racehorses, and one - Makybe Diva – rewrote the record books who became the first horse to win the Melbourne Cup three times. The horse, who got her name from an amalgam of the names of women who worked at the tuna company, is now retired after earning more than $14 million over her career. A life-sized bronze statue of Makybe Diva can be seen on the foreshore of Port Lincoln. Despite this impressive story, the king of Port Lincoln fishermen is Sam Sarin with an estimated 1,400 tonnes of quota worth more than $210 million.
Tuna season today runs from December through to February, when the waters of the rough Great Australian Bight are at their calmest, Port Lincoln’s fleet of 50 plus boats head out to sea. Once netted, the tuna are towed to the cages at speeds as slow as one mile an hour. The unhurried trip minimises injuries, but means it can take up to two weeks to make the journey home. Once home, it’s nothing but the best for the captive fish as they feed on a diet of carefully chosen pilchards to maximise the tuna’s oil content and bring out a pink to red colour. When netted, the tuna average about 15kgs. When harvested five months later, they weigh more than twice as much.
Thursday, March 16, 2017 1:57pm
In 1979, a couple of locals from the Tunarama Committee decided the festival needed something unique that identified with Port Lincoln’s already famous Tuna Fishing industry, in a way that could be enjoyed as a spectacle by anyone, entered by anyone fit enough to consider doing so, and that was a bit of fun. There were many ideas put forth at the time, but none seemed to gel with the Festival’s goal of celebrating the industry that gave it its name.
Until it was noticed by a couple of fellows that the primary method of unloading the overflowing boats that came into port, was a very manual, arduous task. Men would stand on the decks of the boats, and throw tuna up onto the waiting trucks. Well, those fish that were small enough to throw, that was.
Many local lads would line up in those uncertain economic times, looking for a few hours paid work. They had to pass a simple test. Throwing a fish as far as they could, or at least as far as was needed on the day, depending on tide and truck. The best throwers would get the work for the day. It was a prideful thing, a boast for the boys afterwards, as they spent part of their earnings at the nearest hotel to quench their hard earned thirst. Men being men, this had become a local bragging right, to see how many days work they gained, or how far their fish flew.
For the Festival Committee, this was a natural event to consider, as the Festival was also run at the time of year when most fish were being landed, and they were in plentiful supply. So, it was decided to hit on a formula and method that would allow many people to enter and enjoy this local sport.A backyard test was conducted with a few fish of varying sizes, and different methods were tested, bearing in mind that many people might never handle such a fish at other times, so it had to be user friendly. In the first year it ran, it proved to be an outstanding success, with hundreds of festival goers lining the local jetty and shoreline, to watch some of the bigger fishermen and fish workers as they lined up to throw a regular sized approx. 20Lb fish by means of a rope handle.
A bit of prior publicity had suggested that the event may well become an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, prompting a thinner but more lithe man to enter, just to see if skill could win the day over brawn. Some very large and well muscled men worked in the industry, and had reputations for being able to handle fish with great panache.
They stood on a line in the sand, facing along the beach near the town jetty, under the watchful gaze of hundreds, as they whirled the fish above their heads, or heaved them with a great under-arm lunge, glinting with perspiration, matched by the brilliant blue and silver of the flashing fish, just before launching it as hard as they possibly could, in an arc that would see the fish land some distance away. A long line of men stood on that line that day, before a school teacher stepped up to the mark.
John Penny was well-known around town as a man of education, with a well-spoken demeanour, but little was known about his sporting ability, other than a spot of casual cricket and the like. Well, turns out, John used to train for the Olympics, in his younger day, in a minor discipline, that of Hammer-Throw. He had seen the others throw in their various fashions, some ungainly, some mighty. Just a bit of a warm-up, and he grabbed the fish, and threw it way past where it had landed previously. Some were shocked, and cried foul. But, the judges saw nothing wrong with his skill, and the throw ended up winning the event.
Incredulous, many men vowed to learn more about how to throw it that far, and return next year. So, it has become an annual attempt, now including both genders, renowned around the world. Another Aussie Hammer Thrower came in 1998 to throw what still stands as the Record. Sean Carlin tossed a tuna 37.23m. In 2002, another Hammer Thrower, Brooke Krueger threw the female Record of 21.25m. So, these fish really can fly.
Even though none of the fish that have ever been thrown in competition have been intended for consumption by any person or animal, and have been classified as dead upon retrieval and too small for the market, a decision was made a few years ago to replace the fish used in the trials with rubberised versions.
This was done for a number of reasons, mainly economic and convenience due to a reduced by-catch brought about by keener fishing methods. The finals do however still use the real fish, when we have some, as this remains the preferred method of all regular competitors, and more accurately reflects the balance of the actual animal for historic recording purposes. The donated fish that we use are not prime examples, by any means, they never were. As unusable by-catch, we merely hold them over for a while, until returning them to where they would have gone anyway. The competition is a prime example of how a city interacts with its unique identity, and the industry which drives it forward. The people that began this tradition still live on with every toss, and even though the industry changes with technology and demand, this event honours all those people that contributed to the beginnings of what is now arguably the best kept fishery in the Southern Hemisphere. For a little taste of what it used to mean to work in this demanding industry, you are invited to join us on the foreshore of Port Lincoln, every Australia Day weekend.
See a fantastic and hilarious look of the Tuna Toss event through the ages with footage from the 80s through until 2010.
Sunday, March 05, 2017 1:10pm
People from all over Australia visited Port Lincoln last week to attend the Annual Port Lincoln Cup at The Port Lincoln Racecourse. Each year we are delighted to host the biggest marquee at the track, our very own "Lincoln Marquee". We were joined by 300 smiling guests all dressed in their best race wear for a day full of great wine, an even greater local produce filled menu, live music and a punt or two (or three!)
Starting at 12pm, our guests were transported to the track from the Port Lincoln Hotel via a complimentary transfer included in the ticket price. The party started promptly at 12pm with a new addition to our tent, a Master Seafood & Antipasto Grazing Station served in a timber boat and wagon of course! While guests took in the sights, found their pose for the day and grabbed a drink, our boat was filled with over 500 Coffin Bay Oysters and 600 Spencer Gulf King Prawns and our wagon topped with cured meats from Boston Bay Smallgoods, dips, olives, fruit, crackers, pickled seafood and more!
Kim Power Photography was on site taking beautiful snaps of our guests in front of our custom Port Lincoln Hotel photo wall with floral creations by Golden Sable Florist. Our pride and joy for the day was our Grant Burge Sparkling Tower, the sponsors for the day. Before too long, guests were treated to more canapes in the form of Tomato, Bocconcini & Basil Skewers, our Signature Dish 'Tuna & Kingfish Rosettes', Lamb Cutlets, Chicken and Pork Sliders and more!
Josh Phillips provided the acoustic tunes throughout the day encouraging the festivities along while Boston Bean Coffee Company were there from 2pm providing those who needed a caffeine boost to get them through until the wee hours! Come 5pm it was time to board the bus back to the Hotel to continue the festivities where Adelaide Band Idol Saints kept people excited in Sharkys and Chris Kenny & The Band belted out the tunes to those in Sarins.
Another amazing day and a big thankyou to all who came. BE SOCIAL | #PORTLINCOLNHOTEL
See all the photo's from the day on Facebook!
Friday, December 30, 2016 10:48am
Team building retreats can be an incredibly powerful way to increase your workforce’s camaraderie, develop more productive relationships and improve levels of communication and cooperation. There a few things that clear the mind like getting out of the office and surrounding yourself with sparkling water, open spaces and fresh air. Read on to see our top tips to planning a successful team building retreat.
- Choose a Meeting Space/Venue with a View
It’s no coincidence that the worlds biggest and most successful companies all operate out of “green” office spaces having understood its impact on employee’s productivity and cognitive function long ago. On average, workers experience a 30% increase in creative knowledge, productivity and happiness in a work environment filled with greenery, natural light and open plan spaces. The Port Lincoln Hotel is located on the foreshore of Boston Bay, offering panoramic ocean views and floor to ceiling windows in all of their function spaces – and at just a short 30 minute flight from Adelaide - its an ideal location to invigorate and draw the best from your employees.
- Plan a loose agenda
Ensure there is time for breaks so employees can revive themselves with a walk on the beach or a coffee break to catch up on emails. The Parnkalla Trail in Port Lincoln is one of the states most picturesque, running straight past the Port Lincoln Hotel and meandering along the coastline, the trail passes a number of beautiful secret beaches, popular fishing spots and untouched flora and fauna. The foreshore in Port Lincoln is a bustling little street with coffee shops a plenty – grab your laptop and set yourself up while watching the world go by. Your staff will come back feeling refreshed and ready for the next task.
- Think of outside the box teambuilding activities
Team building can often evoke feelings of dread with unpleasant memories of those out-dated “icebreaker” activities residing in most of us. While traditional activities still have their place and are likely to be included in your agenda – sprinkle in a couple activities specific to the destination – like Shark Cage Diving which can only be experienced in Cape Town, South Africa and Port Lincoln, Australia. There’s nothing like ticking off a bucket list item as a team, making memories that will last a lifetime. Alternatively, learn something new with your team with a Seafood Cooking Class – each learning how to prepare and cook the famous Eyre Peninsula Seafood…before sampling it with a glass of local wine of course! Having an onsite photographer to document the trip is also a great idea and perfect footage for the slideshow at the next Christmas party.
- Keep them well fed
There’s nothing like a delicious meal and glass of wine to help evoke relaxation and further gel your team. The Eyre Peninsula is famous for producing world class seafood and the Executive Chef at The Port Lincoln Hotel sure knows how to cook it. Indulge in Seafood Feast, served on the hotel’s unique pool deck, transformed for the evening into an enchanting, bohemian space with the sparkling ocean views of Boston Bay as the backdrop. The perfect end to a perfect trip.
For more ideas, information and a tailored itinerary for your group - contact our Functions Manager at email@example.com
Monday, December 12, 2016 1:02pm
Santa Claus and his adorable magical elf Albastor Snowball visited The Port Lincoln Hotel and over 200+ Port Lincoln children yesterday! Santa made himself at home, transforming our Lincoln Ballroom into his Lounge Room at The North Pole.
Over 4 big shows, Santa Claus and Alabastor entertained children and parents with magical tricks, music and lots of laughs!
Children had fun learning some of Santa's favourite magic tricks with the opportunity to purchase their own Magic Starter Kit after the show. We all had so much fun that we made sure to invite Alabastor Snowbell back again in the new year with his friend Bumbles the Clown and Magic Mike for more School Holiday activity fun! To keep up to date with Whats On at The Hotel be sure to check into our Whats On page on our website here.
Wednesday, November 02, 2016 11:57am
Yesterday many came and celebrated the race that stops the nation with us in Sarin's Restuarant.
The food was delicious, the music entertaining and the drinks were flowing from lunch until the evening!
All the race day action was screened on all of our 12+ screens available throughout the venue (with a couple extra's brought in for the day) with many coming out on top and backing a winner! We even had a couple win the trifecta! Adelaide Band "Blue Label" kept us entertained throughout the day with live music while local legends "Bundy Incident" kept us going after the race and way into the night.
Executive Chef Dave Pedro kept us all well fed with a three course luncheon in Sarin's Restaurant. We nibbled on petite pulled pork pies, seared sesame crusted bluefin tuna, Coffin Bay oysters and bbq marinated Spencer Gulf King Prawns...and that was just the entree! With a Char-Grilled Aged Beef Fillet, Hiramasa Kingfish Fillet or Crispy Skinned Chicken Fillet to choose from for main we were deliciously satisfied before dessert had even arrived....although who are we kidding...there's always room for dessert! Chef's "Winners Are Grinners" Rich Caramel Tart for dessert topped off a beautiful menu with many choosing an Espresso Martini from the bar as the real cherry on top.
Thankyou to all who came and celebrated the day with us.
For more images of the day click here
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 5:56pm
We've had an absolute blast these school holidays. Princess Elsa visited us on Monday for some sing-alongs and dancing and today Snow White graced us with some arts and crafts!
Even the big kids enjoyed it! Children made all types of gifts with the helping hand of Snow White and her friends...even breaking out into tune occasionally! Now we're already onto planning our next lot of School Holiday Activities for December and January!
See details on our Santa's Magical Show here - coming up 11th December for a special, 1 hour live show all the way from the North Pole!
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 11:38am
Don't want the celebrations to end after your wedding day?
They don't have to with our brand new "Wedding Sundaze Session" package - available to all brides and grooms.
- Complimentary live entertainment on the Sunday after your wedding
- Complimentary food platters for you and your guests
Contact our Wedding Coordinator Karena on (08) 8621 2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise your post wedding celebrations today!
Monday, October 10, 2016 5:24pm
We were very lucky these October School Holidays...we were visited by Princess Elsa and Snow White in just two days!
Our "Snow Princess Frozen Fun Zone" day on Monday was full of all things frozen, sparkly and magical! Executive Chef Dave Pedro and his clever Kitchen team were busy baking scrumptious Frozen Cupcakes and Blue Lemonade Spider Drinks! Our special Face Painters were on hand painting a tribe of beautiful mini Princess Elsa's and Arna's complimentary but it was the Snow Princess herself who stole the show! Singing and dancing the rest of the morning away made for a perfectly, frozen morning out.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 8:48am
With just 17 Fridays until Christmas it's time to start planning your corporate Christmas celebrations for the silly season!
Spoil your friends, employees or clients with an amazing Christmas gathering they wont forget!
With over 7 event spaces to choose from, delicious NEW menu options, unique experience recommendations and a dedicated events team - we can help you plan your ultimate Christmas event.
From intimate cocktail parties to lavish celebrations, we can accommodate events from one to 300 guests with elegance and style.
- Tantalise the senses with our range of new dining experiences
Our Executive Chef, Dave Pedro has been busy this year creating a range of new, exciting dining options for guests on our function floor. Try our new Antipasto Grazing Table, our Interactive Dessert Wall or our exclusive Bohemian Nights Seafood Feast!
- Let us take care of everything...including the decorations!
With every Christmas Function Booking we will set your event to your specifications including tasteful rustic Christmas decorations free of charge - all you will need to think about is what you'll wear!
- Set up some fun, interactive experiences to ensure lots of laughs!
Staff Christmas Parties are a time to let your hair down and have some fun with your colleagues. We have numerous activities that can be added to your event from Sumo Wrestling to Kareoke! Speak to our Functions Team for recommendations!
Tuesday, August 09, 2016 1:47pm
There's so much to see and do on the Eyre Peninsula!
We're so happy with the South Australian Tourism Commissions new Tv advert - highlighting to the world what is on offer in the Eyre Peninsula.
Check it out here.
Get your heart racing, venture into the wild and find out why Eyre Peninsula is known as Australia’s Seafood Capital.
Calypso Star Charters will get you face-to-face with the ocean’s most feared predators (in the safety of a shark cage, of course.)
Looking for something a little tamer? Splash and swim with sea lions on an Adventure Bay Charters tour or discover some of the region’s best-kept secrets with Goin’ Off Safaris.
The region boasts plentiful and varied catches, and as a result, mouth-watering seafood is certainly on the menu. Indulge in a seafood platter at Sarins Restaurant, or enjoy a gourmet platter under the stars with Gawler Ranges Wilderness Safaris.
There’s so much, so close to home in South Australia and it’s all yours to enjoy
Thursday, July 21, 2016 4:43pm
We've had so much fun these school holidays! Thankyou to everyone who has come along and joined in the multitude of festivities.
Monday & Tuesday we had Bumbles the Clown from Abracadabra Entertainment visit us all the way from Adelaide to host our two very special workshops. "Balloon Twisting" was on Monday where and the children learnt to make everything from swords and flowers to animals and more! Tuesday we filled a room of budding magicians with our "Magic Workshop" where Bumbles taught them all the tricks of the trade and some special illusions to take home and test on their parents!
Monday night Bumbles was back with a 1 hour Magic Show for kids (& grownups!) in our Lincoln Ballroom overlooking the bay. Bumbles wowed the audience performing magic and illusions before their eyes and post show, treating each and every child to their very own balloon animal!
Thursday was the largest of our activities where we transformed our Lincoln Ballroom into a disco - complete with party lights and music! This 2 hour dance party was hosted by local dance teacher Julie Hennell who kept the kids entertained (and their bodies moving!) with games like Musical Statues and The Limbo. Not forgetting the parents, we set up a chill out zone where parents could watch on and enjoy a cup of coffee and a cake by our Relay for Life Team - who were there selling homemade sweets & treats and face painting to raise money for cancer.
We had so much fun we've invited Abracadabra Entertainment back again in December for a special Santa's Magic Show. Click here for more information.